Vontaze Burfict has terrorized football fields for over a decade from high school to the pros, but for the good of the NFL and his own personal health, it’s time for his reign to end. Permanently.
The Bengals officially cut Burfict on Monday after signing him to a three-year, $32 million extension in 2017.
The move was made partially because Burfict has missed 18 games over the last three years, partially because of his downward-trending production on the field, and, if we’re being honest, partially because the Bengals have a new regime in town that probably doesn’t want to deal with the negative publicity Burfict creates.
That’s okay. That’s good. The NFL doesn’t need dirty players like Burfict anymore. It’s trying to change its reputation for dangerous hits. Not having to fine, suspend, and discuss a player like Burfict on a bi-weekly basis is a great place to start.
On a personal level, a divorce from football would benefit Burfict too. The man has had seven documented concussions in the NFL, which of course doesn’t account for his playing days at Arizona State, Centennial High School or even before that. He had two concussions in a three-week period last season, which is a troubling sign he can’t take this abuse much more.
Burfict has earned over $31 million during his NFL career, and while he lost $4.2 million in fines and suspensions, $27 million (before taxes) should offer enough wiggle room to figure out what comes next. Whether that’s coaching or some other passion, we don’t know. But one thing it shouldn’t be is playing football.