The Cincinnati Bengals have extended the contract of currently suspended linebacker Vontaze Burfict, keeping him in stripes through the 2020 NFL season.
Per Bengals.com, the deal is worth “nearly $39 million” though it’s sure to include incentives and not all of that money will be guaranteed.
It’s believed Burfict gets about $11 million up front, most of it in salary this year that is going to reduce the Bengals’ remaining salary cap from about $15 million to about $5 million, which about taps out the Bengals and their paid that accounts for incentives and injuries.
NFL.com has reported the extension totals $38.68 million and includes a $3.3 million signing bonus. It also includes an additional $7 million this season; Burfict was set to make $4,063,235 this year before the contract extension. That’s not including the money he’s losing during his suspension.
The Bengals’ coaches, who will need to deal with life without Burfict for the first three weeks of the 2017 NFL season, are surely excited to have the heart and soul of the defense in the fold for the long-term.
“Vontaze is still one of the young, emerging talents within the league,” head coach Marvin Lewis said after the signing. “We have worked hard at training, developing and retaining talented players. It’s pleasing that Vontaze has made this commitment to be a part of the organization going forward. It was important to reach an extension before the start of the season and we look forward to having Vontaze back with the team in a few weeks.”
Here’s a look at social media reactions to the news. It was taken well by Bengals fans, but as you may expect, not so well from fans outside of Cincinnati.
Ayeee #55 We All The Way Live!!! king55_tez We know what time it is, Say No More. We got ya… https://t.co/AN4fQxKcAt— Carlos Dunlap (@Carlos_Dunlap) September 7, 2017
I wonder if Burfict got a clean slate from the league after getting his suspension reduced. Can't feel comfortable as a team without it.— Joe (@JoeGoodberry) September 7, 2017
This makes Burfict a top 5 paid non-pass-rushing LB.— Joe (@JoeGoodberry) September 7, 2017
Which I think is fair, but his dependability should've hurt his value.
With Burfict landing 3 years, $38.7M the nearly $13M per is tops for 4-3 OLBs. Short on years/guarantees for big $$. Ranks via overthecap. pic.twitter.com/ce85p4xQND— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 7, 2017
Pretty affordable for a playmaker. https://t.co/RBC3A7vTO2— Josh Kirkendall (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 7, 2017
1 of my favorite quotes on @King55Tez came from Paul Guenther a few weeks ago, "He's the straw that stirs the drink for us".— Elise Jesse (@Elise_JesseWLWT) September 7, 2017
Great deal for player and team. Say what you want about his on-the-edge playing style, but he's one of the league's best interior LBs. https://t.co/O3AHmpjk49— Dion Caputi (@nfldraftupdate) September 7, 2017
One thing you can't deny: For better or worse, #Bengals have ALWAYS been aggressively in Vontaze Burfict's corner.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) September 7, 2017
Looks like Tez now NFL's Fourth highest paid ILB (Kuechly, Collins, Barron)— Geoff Hobson (@GeoffHobsonCin) September 7, 2017
For once they're using the cap room of this year well. https://t.co/m59WsX9rcw— Who Dey Ninja (@Hibachi_Burrow) September 7, 2017
Love the Burfict extension.— Bryan H (@Bryan_Hackney) September 7, 2017
Vontaze Burfict is a top 5 MLB in the game at the ripe age of 27 years old. Way to go Cincy. Great job getting that extension done— Burke F Garner (@BeezyBGarner) September 7, 2017