Vontaze Burfict’s digital footprint shows a desire to inflict injury on Steelers players

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On Wednesday, the case was made (both in print and in the #PFTPM podcast) for a permanent banishment of Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, in the aftermath of his latest on-field misconduct during a game against the Steelers.

To summarize, he threw a blatant forearm to the head of receiver Antonio Brown, and then Burfict allegedly told receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, “You’re next.”

There’s a history between Burfict and Smith-Schuster, arising from an illegal hit that Smith-Schuster applied to Burfict last season, resulting in a suspension. Given that background and based on Burfict’s obvious actions and alleged words, it’s not hard to discern his intentions. If anything more were needed, consider something Burfict did during the offseason.

A Twitter user made this highly inappropriate observation on March 18: “ur gonna be mad when JuJu ends up like [Ryan] Shazier.” The same user later posted a screen shot of Burfict pressing the “like” button as to that sentiment, a reference to the serious neck injury Shazier suffered against the Bengals last December.

Burfict has since un-liked the tweet. But Burfict still has this message on his list of likes, over a photo of Smith-Schuster holding up an image of himself standing over Burfict, immediately after the hit that triggered a suspension: “I want to see you lay this boy out. He thinks he’s big sh-t cause he blind sided you, but he ain’t ready for you, he don’t know what he got himself into!!! go ahead and keep bragging, you ready to get carted off the field this season?”

That should be more than enough to prompt a lengthy suspension (or more) for Burfict, given what he did to Brown and what Burfict threatened to do to Smith-Schuster.

Given that an illegal hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman resulted in a suspension for Burfict last year, it will make sense to keep a close eye on everything Burfict does on Sunday night in Kansas City. While it’s possible that he got a pass for his latest antics because the NFL prefers to keep everyone focused exclusively on the pinball-machine offensive numbers being generated this year, the league can’t continue to look the other way regarding a player who has proven time and again to have no regard for the health and safety of his opponents.

51 responses to “Vontaze Burfict’s digital footprint shows a desire to inflict injury on Steelers players

  1. So should Vince Williams be banned for threatening Vontaze’s life on twitter? Your double standards are nauseating. The former players on NFL Network agreed that bringing up trash talk means nothing, that players threaten each other every play. Mic them all, and start penalizing words, if you’re going to use these “threats” as ammo.

  2. As long as Ben gets banned for his repeated attacks on women then it sounds fair.

    As many astutely pointed out yesterday, the Steelers crying after their history of multiple predatory players (off field in Ben’s case) is pathetic.

  3. Burfict is trash, but there are several Stoolers (past and present) that aren’t much better.

  4. Not a Bengals fan, but I don’t think Burfict should be suspended for something he liked on “the Twitter” or for trying to intimidate an opponent during a game. If his conduct violates league policy, then do something within your authority, but to say that he’s done “more than enough to prompt a lengthy suspension (or more)” is a stretch in my mind.

  5. NFL owners decide if their ‘product’ is harmed or helped by all this.

    What is the ‘net’?

    increased press coverage of ‘controversy’ = eyeballs, advertiser $, fan interest up, = more cash for NFL & affiliates

    Sorry to say this, “justice” and “what’s right” seems to devolve to: am I losing money? will I make money?

    not exactly a moral compass.

  6. If we want to discuss dirty hits during play, the Steelers list will make Burfict’s list look like a mere footnote. But if we are now discussing poor behavior after the whistle (“I’ll get you, JuJu”), consider:

    The Steelers followed up JuJu’s dangerous blindside hit (objectively much dirtier than Burfict’s hit on Sunday) by choreographing a celebration about concussing Burfict.

    Ryan Shazier and a teammate danced (not even kidding here) at midfield while Gio Bernard lied unconscious receiving medical treatment from a spearing hit during the Bengals-Steelers playoff game.

  7. jerruhjones says:

    October 18, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Burfict is trash, but there are several Stoolers (past and present) that aren’t much better.

    Let’s see: MULTIPLE Steelers and only Burfict from the Bengals. Interesting….

  8. I agree that Burfict is a low-life but calling for an immediate suspension because he liked a tweet is a stretch. Unfortunately, the NFL is much like our legal system–they can’t do anything until he actually does something. With Burfict’s history, he won’t get the benefit of the doubt, nor should he. One of these days he’s going to seriously injure another star player causing him to miss the rest of the season. That’s his intention and he doesn’t care if he gets a slap on the wrist.

  9. The suspension for hitting the KC player was excessive in the first place. The hit was unnecessary but not dirty. Burfict is an old school type player who intimidates the Steelers since at various times he’s knocked Bell, Brown, and Roethlisberger out of games. He should be fined for dirty hits but considering the atrocious officiating in the playoff game 3 seasons ago, it’s not surprising he gets fired up for the Steelers.

  10. I’m so glad Steelers’ fans have this to be obsessed about. For the last year, it’s been the return of Bell. Years before that, it was trying to whitewash Little Ben’s bad reputation. As a third place team in the AFCN, at least they have this to keep their teeny brains occupied.

  11. Yeah, football use to have guys talking smack, hitting hard, retribution hits, safeties purposely holding up a step so they could time laying the wood with gusto and mass destruction. You know how many guys lost their focus on the catch or securing the ball strictly because they new Rodney Harrison was 5 yards away from them?

    Man, those were the days.

  12. The NFL is a joke if they don’t ban this guy he is gonna kill a player or seriously injure him ,is that what it gonna take to ban this loose cannon,wake up Roger your all about player safety ,remember that

  13. You can be a wild man but with a brain, Burfict’s problem is that it has no brain and it has cost the Bengals games. If the league does nothing, the Cincinnati organization should do it. Unfortunately it will not, that’s the big difference between successful franchises and those that will never be.

  14. So many people trying to justify how Burfict plays, it is laughable. These people apparently cannot distinguish between “smash mouth football” and “repeated deliberate attempts to injure”. Also, so many people are saying it is only the Steelers, but I guess they didn’t see the video posted by Florio yesterday that shows Burfict making illegal hit after illegal hit on players from other teams. And, some people talk about something a player said or did one time in the past to justify what Burfict says/does, meanwhile Burfict apparently has been playing like this since high school and has said/done things outside the rules of the game and sportmanship repeatedly many times. Burfict needs at least a year off from football to see if he can learn how to play within the CURRENT rules.

  15. Glorious playing mall cop again with the NFL. So what if Burfict liked a tweet? You want him to lose his livelihood over that? Seems he can do it on the field all by himself.

  16. As a Steelers fan I agree, but based on what you said about the success of the XFL being tied to getting back to 80’s football with less emphasis on player safety you’re speaking out of both sides of your mouth a bit.

  17. what does it say about a person who has no regard for the welfare of a person? who wants to see people harmed?
    often… permanently, with life long debilitating injuries?

    I want no part of that… it is entirely possible to enjoy competitive team sports, excellent playmaking, ingenious strategy….determined effort… without endorsing criminality.

  18. Dick Butkus is widely considered one of the best to ever play the game. Today’s media and fans would have him run out of the league

  19. Its not the words that he should be suspended for but rather what those words convey. It’s a admission that he intended to assault AB to injure him and if got the opportunity he would do the same to JuJu.

  20. Burfict is Hines Ward 2.0.
    Why are the Steelers crying about Burfict’s hits when they used to brag about those same type of hits Steeler’s have inflicted on other players like Carson Palmer?

  21. stillabengalsfan says:
    October 18, 2018 at 11:16 am

    So should Vince Williams be banned for threatening Vontaze’s life on twitter? Your double standards are nauseating.

    While I agree that Vince Williams went waaay to far with that tweet and should have been punished (if he wasn’t – I haven’t looked). There’s a difference between someone who talks big on twitter, and someone who ACTUALLY goes out and tries to permanently injure players. I would hope even a Bengals fan could see that, but I’m bound to be disappointed.

  22. Suspending a guy because he liked a tweet? Yeah, no thanks.

    But to all of those dimwits who talk about Burfict being “old school”, I get it. But that school closed up long ago. You can’t throw your forearm into someone’s head any more. You can be old school all you want. You just shouldn’t be allowed to play the game professionally.

    And for the record, I didn’t care one bit for JuJu’s hit or his celebration. Classless. Trying to use one, to justify the other, is just dumb.

  23. What is wrong with intimidating an opponent verbally or physically within the rules of the game? I’m old Skool. Guys like Ronnie Lott, Jack Tatum, John Lynch, Jack Lambart, Deacan Jones instilled fear into players. Oh freaking whay so he said something on social media, social media is stupid anyway.

    Not only is the Pussification of America going on but also in the NFL. The NFL could impose a rule that would work something like this, we know you have a history so one illegal hit whether its a PF or not you’re automatically out of the game and a one game suspension. You go into the game the following week with the same criteria, kinda like a probationary period you break probation and you are automatically suspended for 5 games, NO appeals.

  24. It’s a shame it took you so long to figure this out. I have been saying it for years.

    The fact that the NFL let’s this guy play seriously calls into question how focused the league is on player safety. It’s the lowest hanging fruit out there that the league refuses to pluck. And you would think the Players Association would not give any resistance given the number of their members he has tried to hurt. – August 6, 2018

    In the interest of their clients, the player’s union should demand that the nfl removes from football. October 23, 2017

    With such a focus on safety, it’s just amazing that they continue to let this guy play. This guy is a blatant danger to the customers of the NFLPA and to the reputation of the NFL. August 28, 2017

    This was a very smart move. It protects the safety of other Bengals who would have had to practice against him for the next few weeks. He is dirty enough to try to hurt his own teammates. July 28, 2016

  25. truths4all says:

    October 18, 2018 at 12:36 pm

    Burfict is Hines Ward 2.0.
    Why are the Steelers crying about Burfict’s hits when they used to brag about those same type of hits Steeler’s have inflicted on other players like Carson Palmer?

    First, Burfict is a few levels above Hines Ward. Ward did not punch guys in the groin, pull and twist a QB’s injured leg, dig his elbow into a player’s shoulder while on top of him, kick out his feet at a blocker’s head after falling down, etc. etc. etc. Ward skirted the blind side block rule often and that was it.
    Second, nobody bragged about Carson Palmer’s hit (which was 13 years ago by the way). Kimo was friends with Carson and actually visited him in the hospital after that hit.

  26. So JuJu can smile, celebrate, and pose with photos of him knocking someone (Burfict) out for 2 games with a brutal, vicious, blindside hit, but Burfict can’t like a tweet about inflicting injury on someone? Yep…no bias whatsoever on this site. I don’t recall Florio calling for a fine or suspension of JuJu for the TD celebration mocking him injuring an opponent. But yeah, this is all about “player safety”.

  27. keepingitrealdumb says:
    October 18, 2018 at 11:19 am
    knocked leveon out a few seasons back

    With the softest tackle you’ll ever see burfict make. Anyone crying about that play is just looking for reasons to whine.

  28. Everybody whining because he is a physical football player. Do we want our linebackers to be a bunch of pansies? So what he talks trash. PFT writers are a bunch of softies this year

  29. claconn123 says:
    October 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm
    Everybody whining because he is a physical football player.


    I’m a fan of physical, defense-driven football. Not a fan of guys who resort to childish tactics like twisting guy’s ankles after a play is over in a blatant effort to inflict injury. Doing stuff like that isn’t physical — it’s cheap. Not sure why people are defending this guy.

  30. Folks need to learn the difference between hard hitting football, and playing with the INTENT TO INJURE a player, so said player will be out for a game or more, or heaven forbid, said player will suffer a career ending injury. The NFL can’t talk about “player safety” from one side of their mouths, and then all this guy to purposely injure his fellow players.

  31. Raymondmac: I know what Florio is trying to say (like him, I also hold a law degree). But the standard is different in a sport that requires you to make physical contact with other players. Remember the Boobie Clark case? I know it wasn’t a criminal matter, but it illustrates my point that standards are different. And Burfict’s intimidation of “you’re next” did not lead to him injuring Smith-Schuster, so to me it was just words. I accept that others may disagree.

  32. I see a lot of angry bengals fans defending burfict’s actions. I guess a 2-18 record brings out the dumb in people.

  33. As Steeler fan, I enjoy his antics. He yaps, he goes after a head, he gets trucked by Vance McDonald. Oh yeah, I almost forgot.. he loses to Steelers repeatedly. Keep up the insanity young man!

  34. A Steelers had a guy threaten to kill Burfict (With a gun, I believe) a season or two ago. Forget that little fact?

  35. And let’s not forget last year’s cheap shot by JuJu and multiple celebrations there of (at time of hit and in TD celebration).

  36. No penalty was thrown against Burfict during the game nor has he been fined for anything yet. What on-field misconduct took place? Think NFL Films still runs LT’s line that he is going to knock the dude on the Jets out. That stuff gets said in the field all the time. Would you suspend or banish every player who celebrates a hard hit on another player?

  37. Burfict has pretty much turned into a joke anyway. The only hit that he really got was late and dirty on Brown. If you watch the replays it was pretty hilarious…..McDonald shed his tackle like he was a rag-doll and tossed him to the sideline like a piece of bad meat. Even Connor shed his block like he was tossing aside a 180# backer. Burfict is a ‘has been’. Gets winded a lot, can’t even stay on the field for 3 downs in a row, can only make a impact with a dirty play, and is a piece of crap. He’s always made his presence known by dirty plays and causing injury to ‘money’ players of the opposition. The guy is a dirtbag and must be paying Goodell under the table to stay on the field.

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