It's easy to see why Vontaze Burfict was so happy on Wednesday. Entering just his third year in the NFL, Burfict signed a deal that will pay him $21 million over the next four years, $11 million of which will come in the next six months.
"I’m happy to be a Bengal. I always look forward to bigger and better things. Our defense is very talented,’ he said. "My family is excited and happy for everything that’s come along."
"The coaching has helped me become a great player and be a leader on defense. I’ve come a long way. That’s helped me keep my head on straight. Just go play the game and great things happen. That’s why I was able to sign the deal and be blessed to play football."
That said, Burfict knows he's one of the best linebackers in the NFL, and he's going to get paid like it in his next deal if he keeps playing at his current level.
"You have to build that bridge," Burfict said. "You can’t be the richest man in one day. You have to work to get it. I feel like that’s what I have to do and I signed the deal after working my way up and getting to be where I want to be and it took a couple of years."
After talking with the media, Burfict decided to do a position switch from linebacker to reporter, as he interviewed Bengals.com's Geoff Hobson.