What’s next for Vontaze Burfict?

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The Bengals have released linebacker Vontaze Burfict, making him a free agent five days after free agency began. So what’s next for one of the dirtiest player in the league?

Last year, conflicting reports emerged regarding whether the Raiders were trying to trade for Burfict, a move that would have reunited him with former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Now that the Raiders have traded for receiver Antonio Brown, adding Burfict would become delicate and popcorn-inducing.

It was an illegal hit from Burfict on Brown that helped the Steelers snatch victory from the Bengals in a playoff game to cap the 2015 season, prompting both Burfict and former Bengals cornerback Pacman Jones to suggest that Brown faked the concussion he suffered. The league suspended Burfict for the first three games of the 2016 season in response to the blow to Brown’s head.

The Vikings, in theory, could be a destination for Burfict, given that coach Mike Zimmer served as defensive coordinator in Cincinnati before Guenther. And how about the Browns, where G.M. John Dorsey currently seems to be rolling the dice on anyone/everyone that can help the team win, character notwithstanding?

Burfict, despite his obvious flaws, has consistently been viewed as a guy who can get his teammates properly focused and motivated. However, Burfict’s habit of losing his focus has cost the Bengals dearly, including most importantly a play that kept them from winning their first postseason game since January 1991.

76 responses to “What’s next for Vontaze Burfict?

  1. I’ll never forget Marvin’s face when this dolt and pacman completely sabotaged and destroyed his one chance at actually winning a playoff game because they couldn’t behave like civilized people in the final minutes.

  2. I personally would like to see him in Pittsburgh just see all the fireworks he would launch and the fans twisting themselves in knots defending a man they regularly vilified.

  3. Minnesota’s got the linebackers we need. I don’t see them being willing to take a guy with such character concerns with a strapped cap and the need to make, not fill, more cap space for a position they no longer have a need in. Still waiting for us to “TraDe Waynes” for a slightly cheaper veteran lineman.

  4. Of course the irony is there are numerous Steelers in the Hall of Fame because of hits like the one Vontaze laid on Brown, including wide receiver Hines Ward

  5. No question that Burfict loses focus and is a dirty player. But a lot of defenses could really use a dose of nasty right now. He will get signed.

  6. He was a very physical player when in shape. He was dirty but not nearly as bad as the media has made him out to be. They did a complete hatchet job on him for being 1 second late on the Brown hit. That play happened every game until 10 years ago and then because it was a Playoff game against the Steelers he became Jack Tatum 2.0 for it. He`s a lot smarter than he gets credit for. He`s just had too many concussions at this point.

  7. Wow, can’t believe Burfict’s only 28. With how much press he generates with his cheap tactics, feel like I’ve been hearing his name for the past 10+ years. Thought he was in his early 30s.

  8. The guy is a head case – no doubt about it. But he is still a beast on the field. He won’t be unemployed for long.

  9. Some comments about Burfict are puzzling to me. I understand the dirty player comments to an extent, but Burfict absolutely caused no locker room issues, off field issues and by all accounts was a great teammate.

  10. The nfl referees who never punish the pittsburgh steelers
    are the blame… NOT Marvin Lewis.

    That’s alright.
    The corrupt, lopsided officiating is just accelerating
    the imminent decline of the nfl.

  11. The Keener Observer says:
    March 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    “dirtiest player in the league” has some hate in it, don’t you think?
    —————-
    It’s not profiling if it’s true.

  12. Sure, it was Burfict’s fault the Bengals lost that playoff game. I mean, sure Ryan Shazier unsurprisingly lead with his head knocking out Gio Bernard, which went unflagged. Shawn Williams was flagged for a hit on Martavis Bryant after Bryant took 5 running steps. It was all on Burfict. Sure the NFL admitted that Bryant had no feet down on a somersaulting-TD “catch”. Jeremy Hill’s fumble inside the Steelers 20 and inside of 2 minutes is all on Burfict. The Steelers needed all that to beat an AJ McCarron led Bengals team.

    Burfict has been a very good NFL linebacker. He’s dirty. The ankle-twisting and groin-punching have been documented. His hits across the middle are what football used to be about, but they’ve taken a toll on his wallet and his head. He’s had nearly a dozen documented concussions. He’s missed the start of seasons due to suspension or injury, and then shown up out of shape. He flat out didn’t want to tackle Kareem Hunt in KC. The Bengals linebackers are a mess, but Burfict couldn’t be counted on anymore.

  13. Burfict would definitely feel at home with Minnesota’s dirty defense.
    Then again, what would you expect since Zimmer is the common denominator between the both of them.

  14. The Keener Observer says:
    March 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm
    “dirtiest player in the league” has some hate in it, don’t you think?

    reminds me of, “the teacher hates me”. He is what he is.

  15. C’mon Giants make a move, this guy is a 3-4 LB. Then draft 2 1st LB’s and you got your defense back on track. Just an idea

  16. As A Bengal fan I’m glad he’s gone for the fact his play hasn’t been worth the headache for the last couple years.
    He may have lost that playoff game with that head shot to AB, but he was also about the only reason they almost won it. His interception of Big Ben and then personally knocked Ben out for a series with a nasty sack really lit a fire under the team.
    I personally am just tired of listening to other Bengals fans trying to do mental gymnastics to explain how the results of his actions are not his fault.

  17. As a raider fan, I think we should try and sign him. What is the worst that can happen? We basically have been bad the last 15 (plus) years, with exception to the 12-4 year from a few years ago. We traded away a likely HOF player for a hope and a prayer that we can hit on the draft picks we got. Burfict knows the system and has been a good player for most of his career. If it doesn’t work out, put it on the list of failures we have had over the years.

  18. kcflake says:
    March 18, 2019 at 1:12 pm
    either new england or cleveland

    ——————————-

    new england is more than set with both starting and depth talent at lb. its one of the strongest positions on the team. there’s no room.

  19. dxm091n says:
    March 18, 2019 at 1:45 pm
    C’mon Giants make a move, this guy is a 3-4 LB. Then draft 2 1st LB’s and you got your defense back on track. Just an idea
    ——————
    Cincinnati’s base D is a 4-3.

  20. Denver needs a MLB. Maybe if he plays for a good organization and real coach, he might be able to play more disciplined. Romonowski was the same way back in the day. He came to Denver and picked up a couple more rings.

  21. Both he and DC Gregg Williams should have been tossed from the league years ago when their psychopathic behavior against other human beings warranted it.

  22. 6thsense10 says:

    I personally would like to see him in Pittsburgh just see all the fireworks he would launch and the fans twisting themselves in knots defending a man they regularly vilified.
    ——————————————————————————
    Don’t think that would happen because a) he’s not good enough to be worth the trouble he brings, and b) we just got rid of the trouble we had. But if the Steelers signed him, I’d still say he doesn’t belong in the league. We’ve all seen dirty hits from other teams and our own. But this is the only player (except perhaps Suh) I’ve seen repeatedly try to injure other players and destroy their livelihood. Good for the Bengals finally cutting ties with this guy.

  23. The Vikings, in theory, could be a destination for Burfict, given that coach Mike Zimmer served as defensive coordinator in Cincinnati before Guenther.
    _________________________________

    Makes complete sense. Would fit right in with Barr.

  24. The Vikings, in theory, could be a destination for Burfict, given that coach Mike Zimmer served as defensive coordinator in Cincinnati before Guenther.
    ————————————————-
    With what Money??? Please.

  25. thebirdofprey says:
    March 18, 2019 at 2:05 pm
    in another era he would be celebrated for his toughness and nasty streak.

    ********************************************************************

    In another era, twisting guys’ knees and ankles after play is whistled dead wouldn’t be considered “tough” or “nasty.”

  26. The Vikings don’t need a player like Burfict anyway. They’ve already got a cheap shot artist in their Linebacking crew, and they certainly don’t need another.
    Besides, their idiotic GM has already left their offensive line in complete shambles as it is. They’re going to have enough problems without adding on more.

  27. Zimmer is on record saying his defense wasn’t nasty enough last year. Not a stretch for them to take a look, although the Vikings could only pay him (pinky to the lips) “ONE MILLION DOLARS”, cause that is about all they got right now.

  28. Another ironic twist is if Burfict can’t play anymore due to concussions, it was the dirty hit by Steeler Ju-Ju that will be the one that ended his career.

  29. inozwetrust says:
    March 18, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    The guy is a head case – no doubt about it. But he is still a beast on the field. He won’t be unemployed for long.
    __________________________________________________

    Actually he’s not. He’s slow, out of shape and still making dumb decisions. If he were still a beast the team would not have cut him.

  30. Makes sense that the Raiders pick him up for a bargain. Paul Guenther must know how to use him to his full potential after working with him for 3 seasons right? And it can’t be any worse than picking up Martavis Bryant.

  31. I doubt that he gets signed he is a game costing personal foul waiting to happen. If he wasn’t so notorious for doing something to get a pf for he would be a good pick up for someone. The steelers wouldn’t sign him though he’d be trying to kill juju in practice and if the raiders signed AB would probably make a scene to get off that team.

  32. Burfict needs to go to a team where character and integrity do not matter! What teams out there fit that descriptive? Browns and Raiders!

  33. “either new england or cleveland.”

    Belichick likes smart veteran players, not ones that constantly lose their temper and commit stupid penalties at crucial times.

  34. I have no idea why they tolerated this guy for as long as they did. Only punk teams like Baltimore or now Cleveland, would have put up with his antics and selfish punk play.

  35. Someone will take a chance on him. As a situational player, he can still be effective. You just have to make sure he’s not on the field when 15 yards is going to cost you the game.

  36. First of all, he’s had waaaaay too many concussions to even be effective now… Secondly, his play dropped off significantly last season. This guy no longer has what it takes to be “nasty”. He’s seriously worth about White Castle crave case and that’s about it.

  37. No team should touch him, he was an embarrassment to the word sportsmanship, he tried to end careers , he was the dirtiest player in the NFL in years.

  38. Burfict has been a head case, for sure, but if some coach can tame him he’s a very good player. Although he made the boneheaded hit on Brown which helped cost the Bengals that playoff game, he also registered a big-time sack of Ben in the 4th quarter, and later came up with what should have been the game-clinching INT. In 7 playoff games under Marvin Lewis, Burfict registered the only sack and the only takeaway by any Bengals defender in the second half of any of those playoff games.

  39. I don’t know if Burfict is the dirtiest player or Barr but if they were both on the Vikings, there is little doubt they would be the dirtiest pair in the NFL. Except that the Vikings have almost no cap room, that’s some statement considering they finish with just 8 wins last year and very little wiggle room to improve.

  40. Welcome to Dallas. You can have Greg’s old locker. Dallas fan here. We lost a starting line backer at this point I would just like to sign anyone besides a tightened that played baseball

  41. Jeremy Hill’s fumble cost the Bengals the game in the 2015 playoff game against the Steelers. Without that Pittsburgh may have not got the ball back if not for that. All people want to remember is Burfict and Jones and the mistakes they made. Hill gets a pass. Drives my crazy. Go back and watch the last 3 minutes of that game.

  42. Jeremy Hills fumble lost that playoff game for Bengals. It was over at that moment. Rest of game was just entertainment. How many other playoff games you remember? That one , EVERYONE remembers.

  43. peytonwantsaflag says:

    Of course the irony is there are numerous Steelers in the Hall of Fame because of hits like the one Vontaze laid on Brown, including wide receiver Hines Ward.

    There really isn’t too much irony here… the rules have changed since most of the Steelers players in the HOF played the game.

  44. Burfict didn’t cost the Bengals that playoff game. In fact, he made what should have been the gamewinning play when he intercepted a pass late in the game. Then Jeremy Hill fumbled the ball back. Then after Burfict’s hit on Brown, Pacman got called for touching the officials who were determined not to call Joey Porter for being way out on the field. If the officals ignored Pacman pointing out their error, it would have been a 50+ yard field goal. If they had flagged Porter as the rules require, then it would have been a Bengals win. There were a lot of suspicious calls in favor of the Steelers that night.

  45. I remember him in college where he constantly would have bone head personal fouls called on him to keep drives extended. Doesn’t matter how many great plays you make when you nullify it all with one out of control display of anger. Never matured past that in the Pros. Not worth it IMO.

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