Vontaze Burfict may have avoided a suspension for his actions in Week 6, but he’s not avoiding scrutiny from players around the NFL.
You’ll be shocked (kidding) to learn the Steelers are the team with players being the most vocal about Burfict thus far. It’s no secret that Burfict and the Steelers have a heated history that reached its (hopeful) boiling point last year.
Between Burfict’s hit on Le’Veon Bell that knocked him out for the year after the Bengals vs Steelers Week 8 2015 meeting (on a perfectly clean play), injuring Ben Roethlisberger in the playoff game (also a perfectly legal hit), and concussing Antonio Brown (that was illegal and was the final straw that prompted his three-game suspension), Pittsburgh hates Burfict, and some players are making it clear they don’t want to see him remain in the NFL.
Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams, who’s no stranger to letting his voice be heard, once again had something to say about the NFL deciding to only fine and not suspend Burfict after his actions in the Bengals vs Patriots game last Sunday.
So roger is concerned about player safety right? However a known offender is fined rather than removed from the field? Message received— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) October 19, 2016
A Patriots fan (rightfully) pointed out that the NFL couldn’t suspend Burfict for his actions Sunday because there simply isn’t enough evidence to show Burfict was stomping on LeGarrette Blount. This is what Williams then had to say:
Really now history aside he's a danger to the game https://t.co/8ksDPJNXYx— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) October 19, 2016
It’s funny that Williams seems to think the NFL is being hesitant to suspend Burfict, as if they hadn’t done it already. But hey, Williams has plenty of free time to tweet now that he’s back riding the bench in Pittsburgh, so more power too him.
Elsewhere, Steelers guard Ramon Foster believes something needs to be done with Burfict, and he sounds like he wants it to be a step further than a suspension.
“There’s no place for that, man. To continuously do it – one or two times, okay I get it, but every single time?” Foster said, via CBS Pittsburgh. “A stake has to be driven into the ground on this guy and I’m not sure what they care about, touchdown celebrations or player safety, but something has to be done.
“If you look an inch or two inside, if he goes more on [Bennett], that guy’s out for the season or at least for a longer [period] of time. With the leg stomp on LeGarrette Blount, that guy has a wife and two kids. He’s trying to make his way in this league.”
What’s interesting is that Foster has certainly taken some cheap shots of his own, like this one:
So, should he really be talking?
I don’t think there is any question Burfict has made a lot of bone-headed plays that, whether he meant to or not, added unnecessary player-safety risks in a sport that already has more than enough of those.
I just think it’s ironic that it’s Steelers players who continue to be the ones who cry foul, when teams like the Patriots seem to shake it off. You’d think the Steelers were a squeaky clean team with the way their players act, right?