It looks like Vontaze Burfict's meeting with Roger Goodell may be all for not.
According to ESPN's Dan Graziano, Burfict's three-game suspension handed down by the NFL has been upheld.
Source: Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict’s 3-game suspension upheld by appeals officer Derrick Brooks.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 11, 2016
Burfict met Thursday with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, at Burfict's request, to discuss his behavior and what to do going forward.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 11, 2016
Source says Burfict, his agent and Bengals coach Mavin Lewis met today with Goodell and Troy Vincent, after appeal was denied.— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 11, 2016
There's also this from the Cincinnati Enquirer's Jim Owczarski:
Can confirm Burfict’s 3-game suspension was upheld. League source told me it was heard before the Super Bowl. #Bengals— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) February 11, 2016
It looks like Burfict made sure to meet Goodell as soon as he could, once he learned the suspension was upheld. This is a bit of a travesty that a player with no prior suspension could suddenly be suspended for three games, the same punishment players get for DUI arrests, and not have it even reduced by one game.
Other players including Ndamukong Suh have met with Goodell in the past to discuss their behavior.
It's not like Burfict doesn't have a spotty past full of infractions. His most recent act came in the Wild Card loss playoff to the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he was penalized for using his shoulder to make contact to the head and neck area of a defenseless receiver, Antonio Brown.
This came one week after Burfict was fined $50,000 for a hit on Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams. Burfict was also fined for three incidents in the Week 14 Bengals vs Steelers matchup, which totaled around $70,000 in fines for that one game.
Burfict's three-game suspension was handed down by NFL Vice President of Football Operations Merton Hanks, who ruled Burfict's actions have placed his opponent at an unnecessary risk of injury and should have been avoided. Appeals officer Derrick Brooks, a former NFL linebacker, opted to uphold the decision. The fact that a former NFL backer who, in theory, should be more on Burfict's side, is actually going against him is interesting.
Burfict may have needed a wake-up call to help change his ways, but this is a bit harsh by the NFL and completely unprecedented. It looks like the Bengals will now be without their star backer for the first three games of the 2016 season.