The Bengals are used to this with Vontaze Burfict

Getty Images

If nothing else, the latest Vontaze Burfict suspension isn’t a total surprise to the Bengals, as they’re accustomed to being without him.

The linebacker has missed 29 of a possible 66 games the last four years because of suspensions and injuries, so the four he’ll miss at the start of the season because of a PED violation is just another log on an already blazing fire (it will be the third straight season he’s missed at least the first three games).

It’s not ideal,” Bengals director of player personnel Duke Tobin said, via Pau Dehner of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “The situation he has put us in is not ideal. We are a player-oriented business. Players that can make a difference are important and we recognize that. The more he’s not available to us the more it hurts us. . . .

“Do we have conversations on that a lot? Sure, we have conversations on that a lot. But at the end of the day we are a player-oriented business and the players are the ones that win or lose for us. We try to collect as many players that can help us win. That’s our job. That’s what we do. That’s our responsibility as an organization. To try to put the best football team on the field that we possibly can. It’s not ideal when a guy is not available to us and we recognize that, but our over-riding thought is how to field the best football team we can possibly field.”

The Bengals could easily use his lack of availability as justification to build around a more reliable player, but have been unwilling to do that. Coach Marvin Lewis has supported/enabled Burfict for years, and the backing he enjoys goes to the top of the organization.

“Our focus is on having the best 2018 we can and we feel Vontaze helps us do that, . . .” Bengals vice president Troy Blackburn said. “Vontaze is well-liked and respected in the locker room. The players know that a) he’s a special player and b) he’s a really smart football player. I don’t think there is going to be a negative that way. The negative is going to be lost time. When you are not there you are not helping the team win.”

And yet, they continue to prop him up, hoping his play when eligible is enough to make a difference.

32 responses to “The Bengals are used to this with Vontaze Burfict

  1. Just once I’d like to hear a team executive say…. You know what, he’s missed nearly half of the games in his career, it’s a pay for performance league, and we aren’t going to deal with the BS anymore. What’s the point if he’s a well respected locker presence when he’s not there half the time.

  2. I see a pattern here with this organization. Tobin’s words are the same rhetoric we hear consistently from Marvin Lewis and the top in Mike Brown. I guess if your in the same meetings year after year your tones, words and message become one of the same and in this case not a good thing!

  3. You put that team out last year with that O line thinking that was the best team you could field?

  4. The players know that a) he’s a special player and b) he’s a really smart football player.

    Their definition of smart is a lot different than most.

  5. This isn’t hard to understand and they aren’t “propping him up”. They have decided that if he’s going to play football, he’s going to play it for the bengals. If he doesn’t play, he doesn’t get paid. Build a better line backing core so he’s a luxury, not a necessity.

  6. He’s helped them win so many playoff games and championships that you have to give him some slack. Oh wait…

  7. Coach Marvin Lewis has supported/enabled Burfict for years

    And that’s why he does it. Other teams weren’t interested in him because of his behavior. Lucky for him he had a team with a clueless front office draft him and enable his childish behavior. Don’t expect that to end any time soon. He’s going to get a rude awakening when he’s out of the NFL and finds himself in prison.

  8. Tone. Deaf. Talk about the inmates running the asylum.

    And this is just one of the many reasons why the Bungles will unlikely be a SB champ any day soon. If ever.

    Who Dey? Who cares.

  9. The Bengals need to stop relying on dirtbag players. The Bengals are like a halfway house between prison and decent society and everyone knows that is the Raiders’ job…

  10. Well liked in the locker room – even after he cost them a playoff game loss that AJ McCarron had WON outright for them!?
    Smart players use self-control. Apparently he has no such characteristic. Between penalties cost and games missed this guy isn’t worth it.
    But hey, I’m a Packer fan, I couldn’t care less.
    I bet the Steelers love it to, having an opponent depend on a critical position manned by their stud guy just over half the games!

  11. jm91rs says:
    March 30, 2018 at 8:07 am
    This isn’t hard to understand and they aren’t “propping him up”. They have decided that if he’s going to play football, he’s going to play it for the bengals. If he doesn’t play, he doesn’t get paid. Build a better line backing core so he’s a luxury, not a necessity.
    ———————————————-
    If he’s playing for them there’s a better chance of him not injuring their own players, just other teams’ players. And to the first commenter who said the suspension would be reduced, not for PEDs they don’t.

  12. Us Bengal fans are used to a lot of things. The 2 worst things are Mike Brown being a terrible owner and watching Marvin giggle his way to 16 years as the head coach without a playoff win.

  13. His behavior in a playoff game they had completely locked up and won contributed heavily to how that turned into a loss and the end of a season. I know he got help from pacman but still I was shocked that the team and fans weren’t upset with him for that, seemed to consider it acceptable. So if they dont get bugged about that then a few missed early season games are nothing.

  14. Its 4 at this point, he has been suspended too much to get a reduction

    bengal4life says:
    March 30, 2018 at 7:46 am
    He won’t miss all 4 games. I know it’s not the point, but It’ll be either 1 or 2 games that he misses.

  15. Us Bengal fans are used to a lot of things. The 2 worst things are Mike Brown being a terrible owner and watching Marvin giggle his way to 16 years as the head coach without a playoff win.
    _________

    ROFL!!

    Three things…can’t forget that spaghetti barf y’all call “chili”.

  16. The article is fair. But the narrative (in the comments) that the Bengals are a “halfway house” or that Burfict is a “dirtbag” is lazy and false.

    Just consider:

    This PED suspension is Burfict’s FIRST off-field issue of any kind. Not driving while smoking pot or domestic violent charges for this guy. And his suspensions for on-field play have most often been for hits made while playing fast. If anything, his lack of reliability has been related to injuries.

    To recap. Unreliable? Yes. Dirtbag? No.

  17. doctorrustbelt says:

    March 30, 2018 at 7:36 am

    Vontaze Burfict = NEVER ARRESTED

    ** And the point of this is? Imagine how many MORE games he would have missed if he were arrested. He’s already an embarrassment to his team. The team just doesn’t want to admit it because the guy is already a head case..imagine if the team truly spoke out against his antics.

  18. It is hard to be a proud Bengal fan when this guy is the face of the franchise. He is the antithesis of a =smart= player. His smarts lost a playoff game and the best thing that can be said is he was not alone. Get rid of him along with the guy who thinks he is smart.

  19. Us ASU fans have been used to this for a long time. That’s what we warned the Bengals fans of the type of player they were getting. They scoffed. No one’s scoffing now.

    Remember, this is the guy who tried, in HS, to injure his future teammate while still an opponent in high schoo. Both were committed (at that time) to the same college, USC. Didn’t stop the psycho from trying to mess his knee up AFTER a play.

    This guy is an infectious cancer who has cost his teams many games at every level with his craziness.

    The guy who threw his college coach under the bus in combine interviews after all the times he coddled him. Why? Because right at the end, the coach FINALLY suspended him. VB went crazy and decided to turn pro. Then subsequently sat around and got lazy, smoking pot, and not lifting and turned in a horrific combine.

    He’s a SCUMBAG with a capital S.

  20. You cut Burfict and nearly all these teams would be lined up to sign him. And of course PFT would applaud the signing.

  21. Vontaze Burfict = NEVER ARRESTED ( YET )

    Only been caught, fined and suspended several times.
    Bengals hope they can find more cheaters like him
    to become relevant one day.

  22. The reputation Burfict has over 2-3 dirty plays is ridiculous. The Steelers have been doing the same stuff for years. Mike Mitchell has just as many dirty plays. Shazier took himself out by leading with his helmet. Knocked out Gio Bernard with the dirtiest got I’ve ever seen. Not a peep from the media. And people eat this stuff up. Brainwashed. Heck, Gronk Lau a dirty hit that Burfict would never dream of doing last year, but he’s still the “loveable party animal” right? Whatever.

  23. At this point as a fan, it’s time to cut bait with him. Look at the league and how it’s trending, every rule seems to continue to favor the offense. Now, Burfict has to wait out his suspension, the team then will have to hope he is in shape which he might be, then he has to get into game shape which he won’t be. Then you have to factor into the equation that he will end up knocking himself out for a couple of games due to injury. Then we still haven’t factored in the ref’s that are targeting him and looking to toss him is he walks funny. Finally, the ambiguous rules about the tackling with the helmet thing. The guy averages about 11 games a season and I just can’t see how you would pay a player almost 9 million this season to miss a quarter of it when that money could be used to re-sign guys like Atkins/Dunlap who play 16 games a season at a high level.

    Burfict’s value in today’s NFL is just about 0 now. The game is made for scoring and protecting it’s high asset players (qb’s) and if anything threatens that players like Burfict are rendered obsolete. It’s a shame if you think about it because if he played in the 70’s/80’s/90’s he would be an icon and every team would covet his talent. The NFL doesn’t want intimidating gladiators but marketable nice guys with mass appeal who can endorse the shield.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!