Vontaze Burfict sounds off, after having his name invoked in the Myles Garrett case

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Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict had refused to talk to reporters in the aftermath of the 12-game suspension that ended his 2019 season after only four games. After the egregious non-football act that ended Browns defensive end Myles Garrett‘s season after 10 games, Burfict’s name instantly surfaced, largely by way of comparison to Garrett.

And that was enough to get Burfict to break his silence.

“This fight happened last night and my name pops up everywhere,” Burfict told Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com. “C’mon, bro. It’s always a bad picture being painted. It’s never about me going to the Ronald McDonald House to help the kids. It’s always negative. So I just give two f–ks. Excuse my language. . . . They tell me to go talk to the media and change your image, but what’s done is done. I can’t change anybody’s opinion.”

Burfict seeks a major difference between the basis for his suspension and the basis for Garrett’s.

“The NFL had to suspend somebody for that last night, since that wasn’t a football act,” Burfict told Tafur. “My suspension was a football act. I was hitting somebody. I wasn’t taking a helmet off and swinging it at somebody.”

Burfict still believes he shouldn’t have been suspended.

“It was bullsh-t,” Burfict said. “I was making a football play. I could see if it was a fine or something, but not a suspension, let alone for the whole season. It kind of seems like there was a target on my head. I mean, there has always been a target on my head.”

Burfict is right, but his suspension represented the culmination of a career full of football plays that violated the rules of football. He still refuses to accept that.

That said, Burfict say that he never received a warning that his next violation of the rules would be the one that wipes him out for the balance of a season and essentially ends his career.

“They didn’t, and it really doesn’t matter,” Burfict said. “I see other players make that same kind of play on a daily basis. It was a witch hunt. They were watching everything I do. They watched 171 of my plays this year. Tell me if they watched 171 plays of that linebacker from the Chargers, what’s his name, Thomas Davis? Go witch hunt him.”

And to the extent that Burfict had any hope of getting back next year, his decision to direct the rhymes-with-witch insult to the man who runs the sport probably killed it.

“I met Roger Goodell in New York and he was a total b-tch,” Burfict said. “He was a b-tch. He didn’t let anybody speak, he rushed us in and out of the meeting. The meeting was bullsh-t. He already had the suspension in his hand.”

Burfict also believes that Derrick Brooks, who affirmed the 12-game suspension on appeal, had his mind made up in advance, given that he didn’t care about any of the evidence presented by Burfict, from his clean plays to testimony from teammate Derek Carr.

“That meant a lot to me, but the NFL didn’t give a f–k about that sh-t either,” Burfict said regarding Carr’s role in the appeal hearing. “Derek Carr, my guy, said his piece about how I was a captain and a great teammate and not a dirty player, and Derrick Brooks almost cut him off. He said we appreciate you coming on the call, but they didn’t need Derek Carr to vouch for me.  . . . Brooks made his mind up already. They let me know before I woke up the next day. They didn’t even go in the office, make some coffee and discuss it for a few minutes.”

Burfict spent more than a few minutes unloading on anything and everything to Vic Tafur on Friday, and the clear takeaway is that Burfict won’t be back next year — and that based on the things he said he apparently doesn’t want to be.

46 responses to “Vontaze Burfict sounds off, after having his name invoked in the Myles Garrett case

  1. Burfict is right doesnt matter what he does and it’s annoying let him play. Yes he needs to adjust his style a bit, but I’d want someone mean and nasty on my defense. I wouldn’t want Garrett or Rudolph for that matter both did dirty acts and should be suspended.

  2. “I met Roger Goodell in New York and he was a total b-tch,” Burfict said. “He was a b-tch. He didn’t let anybody speak, he rushed us in and out of the meeting. The meeting was bullsh-t. He already had the suspension in his hand.”
    ——————-

    Dude is right.

  3. “This fight happened last night and my name pops up everywhere,” Burfict told Vic Tafur of TheAthletic.com. “C’mon, bro. It’s always a bad picture being painted. It’s never about me going to the Ronald McDonald House to help the kids. It’s always negative. So I just give two f–ks. Excuse my language. . . . They tell me to go talk to the media and change your image, but what’s done is done. I can’t change anybody’s opinion.”

    Easily the best statement Burfict has made since coming to the NFL.

  4. Too late Burfict. You brought this on yourself. I couldn’t even get past the Ronald McDonald House comment without imagining him laying cheap hits on the kids there.

  5. Burfict is half right and half wrong. He’s correct that he shouldn’t be lumped in here, because while his football plays too often crossed the line into “dirty” territory at least it was in the attempt to play the game honestly. I’d bet he’s also right about the way NFL hearings are conducted. However, he’s wrong about it not being a bad thing that he never could learn to adjust his play to conform with rules. If, say, and offensive lineman consistently would hold more than any player, that would hurt his team and eventually lose him his playing time. Here, it’s league mandated for safety purposes, but it’s still a player committing penalties. Also, part of his issue with the hearings is pretty misguided; the nicest, most charitable person ever would still get punished fully if he, for example, committed murder. Burfict could be a great person and a great teammate, but he still hits opposing players wrong on a far too consistent basis, and it would behoove him to at least be a little apologetic about it (“it’s not intentional, I’m just trying to make plays for my team and try my best to avoid penalty hits”, or something along those lines).

  6. Burfict will never get it. No he didn’t use a helmet in the hand as a weapon but he used the helmet on his head as a weapon many, many times. That is why he is suspended. He just doesn’t get it and continues to play victim.

  7. Specific words get tweet-injected ad naseum into the public consciousness on a daily basis. Next thing you know, said words become part of social discourse as if they were somehow creative and imaginative. And before you know it, everyone’s claiming a stake in their own peraonal “witch hunt.” These guys would cry for mercy if they were ever subjected to a genuine witch hunt.

  8. Yea but football plays and attempted murder are 2 different things. Taking someone’s helmet off and hitting them in the head with it is the same as kicking someone in the face with a steel toe boot. It becomes a deadly weapon. I hate both of these teams so that’s just my opinion.

  9. I think he just guaranteed he will never play again with these statements since he obviously doesn’t think he ever did anything wrong. He can’t get it through his thick head that you can’t target the other player’s head and that’s why he’s sitting on his couch whining about not playing. He’s a dirty player and intentionally targeted people the way he did. The fact he didn’t get the message after multiple suspensions says he doesn’t care. Now he whines that he didn’t know he was on his last strike. Yeah, like you didn’t realize you needed to change after multiple suspensions? I don’t feel sorry for him. The NFL is safer for other players who don’t deserve to be maimed or suffer brain damage or be paralyzed because of a dirty player. Enjoy your vacation Mr. Burfict–you earned it. Maybe you can find a job that will let you do whatever you want until you end up in prison for life. Then he’ll complain he didn’t deserve to be punished for that either. Just go away.

  10. He fails to acknowledge that the most recent suspension was not about one play or his 3 months as a captain of a new team. It’s about a guy who has tried to end people’s seasons and careers despite being suspended, fined, and warned more than any player in football through a long NFL career. It’s great that the QB who met you in March thinks you are a nice guy, but that doesn’t negate the cascade of warnings the league has given him about his lack of regard for the health of other players.

  11. Burfict had fewer helmet to helmet hits than many of his peers. The problem was that when he went shoulder to helmet or helmet to helmet, it had much more “pop” than a smaller LB like Shazeer — who always led with his helmet.

  12. Wow, what a total lack of self-awareness. How about all the injured players he has left in his wake? How about the countless times he has cheap-shotted other players and been fined and/or suspended for it? At some point you take some responsibility for your actions, but apparently the guy is completely shameless. He was warned how many times about his conduct? And he never even tried to change for the better. The league is better without players like him in it, and hopefully other teams are smart enough to avoid signing him in the future.

  13. He repeatedly and deliberately targeted players with his helmet. He was NOT making football plays that somehow ended up wrong. He has consistently been on the wrong side of illegal plays, something he, and his enablers, refuse to acknowledge.

    I love hard nosed football. He’s not hard nosed. He’s hard headed.

  14. Why wouldn’t he be back next? It’s not an indefinite suspension and he has to meet with the commissioner to get reinstated. It was 12 games + playoffs this year. So when the season is over, his suspension is over. They can’t stop him from singing with a team.

  15. As an Arizona State alum, I watched every down he ever played at that school. A lot of it live so with my eyes on him when the cameras weren’t. I can tell you this: all of the attention he receives, he brings upon himself. SO MUCH talking, posturing after plays so much that officials couldn’t help but keep an extra eye on him. We had Stanford/Andrew Luck beat and, similar to the Steelers/Bengals playoff debacle, he picked up two personal fouls, after the play, that kept their game-winning drive alive. From twisting knees to extra-curricular stuff done in piles to head-hunting, Vontaze Burfict is exactly where he should be right now. On his couch. Watching.

  16. So true. Burfict was screwed. Players have been fined and suspended before and made helmet to helmet hits THIS YEAR and not even a one game suspension. Thomas Davis. Also don’t forget that Eagles LB Barnett sent someone out of a game in a stretcher and he even said after the game he’s not going to change the way he plays. No suspension.

  17. The NFL is so full of it. They act like they’re concerned with player safety yet they schedule games on Thursday nights with what amounts to 3 days rest. Then they want to add more regular season games because apparently 16 games isn’t enough money for them. Also, this is the same league that would market the NFL’s greatest hits and showcase the hardest hitters on their own network. The NFL and Goodell have no credibility or leg to stand on.

  18. Suspending Burfict for a season plus was ridiculous. Suspending Garrett for the remaining 6 games is ridiculous. Burfict is right that his play was within the game. Garrett’s was not.

  19. Besides his long past records of dirty play Burfict should understand that if a person robs a bank, he doesn’t get a free pass if he stops to volunteer at the local homeless shelter om his way home from robbing a bank. It’s not a point system for doing some good things versus doing some bade things.

  20. brazy44 says:
    November 16, 2019 at 10:18 am
    Why wouldn’t he be back next? It’s not an indefinite suspension and he has to meet with the commissioner to get reinstated. It was 12 games + playoffs this year. So when the season is over, his suspension is over. They can’t stop him from singing with a team.

    _____________________________________________________________________________

    They can’t stop him from signing? Uh, yes they can, and they do. Just ask Kaepernic.

  21. Ever notice how the Steelers (one of the dirtiest teams in the league) are always on the whining end of every controversy over dirty play? Rooney has too much influence and obviously projects way to much. Steelers should tear down that Ketchup stadium and build a giant glass house.

  22. Burfict is dirty, but e’s also not completely wrong I think. His actions and Garrett’s were different, and his name doesn’t need to be brought up every time something happens. Goodell makes his mind beforehand about everything, that much I believe. Derrick Brooks’ opinion, whether it was pro or anti suspension, would not have changed the outcome.

    But this is what we do as fans and what the sportswriters do, in this area of conversation. We try too hard to make ourselves look smart or noble and draw false comparisons because we always think that there is always some sort of greater message behind every act in sports. Sometimes it’s just simple. No need to draw parallels. Garrett hit a guy with his own helmet. No need to draw Burfict into this or talk about what it symbolizes. Garrett’s team has failed every expectation, and they’ve been under a lot of pressure. He lost his cool and assaulted an opponent after a victory was well in hand. It’s not hard to figure out, and it’s doubtful to become a trend across the league.

  23. Burfict has been dishing out cheap shots for years. Garrett is new to this, but Thursday’s game isn’t the first time. Garrett is more subtle, bis goal when sacking a QB is to injure him and put him out of the game. I realize a lot of guys try to do that, but most try to do it within the rules. Garrett pushes it way too far to where it’s much more obvious. Football is a rough game. I love it. Ronnie Lott and Jack Tatum are two of my all time favorite players. They did everything within the rules of the game. But if you can’t kick a guy’s butt within the rules, then go home. Myles Garrett is a beast. I hope he gets help dealing with his self-control issues. He’s not doing his team any good when he’s home. There’s no hope for Burfict. He’s not going to change and he’s lost a step or two. He’s not even a good player any more.

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