In his second game back from a four-game PED-related suspension, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict once again had to open his wallet in the aftermath. Burfict was fined $112,000 for three separate hits against the Steelers, but some felt like he avoided suspension in the process.
That apparently will not be the case going forward.
Per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, Burfict received a letter from the NFL informing him that going forward he will be suspended for actions similar to those that got him fined last week.
More coming on this topic for @NFLGameDay, but #Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict was informed via letter that the next similar action to his fined offenses from last week will warrant a suspension, sources say. Burfict was fined $112K this week for 2 hits.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 21, 2018
Bufict missing time for unnecessary roughness isn’t anything new, so a potential suspension following this warning from the NFL that just fined him more than $100,000 would likely be lengthy.
The suspension that caused him to miss the first four games of this season was for taking an illegal substance last season to treat the concussion he suffered against the Steelers. Earlier in that season, he missed the first three games due to a hit he delivered against Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the preseason.
This is the hit by Vontaze Burfict on Chiefs FB Anthony Sherman that earned Burfict a reported 5-game suspension. He is appealing pic.twitter.com/X4l2d3Bfr8— Ben Volin (@BenVolin) August 28, 2017
As it turns out, a couple notable players on the Chiefs defended Burfict as a player this week when talking about their opponent for Sunday Night Football tonight. It seems as if they’re the only ones who aren’t associated with the Bengals in some way that feel that way about the Bengals’ linebacker. If you want proof, just look at the replies to Rapoport’s tweet.
Though some want a lifetime suspension from the league, Burfict getting permanently banned is unlikely. But the NFL’s leash on Burfict is much shorter than any other player in the league because of the reputation he’s earned. The league has to be tougher on him because of the way he plays and if he’s unwilling to change, then seemingly innocent collisions will lead to bigger fines and suspensions.
We’ll find out if the letter has any impact on Burfict tonight against the Chiefs.
Vontaze Burfict fine and suspension history
|10.20.2018||--||$112,000||Unnecessary roughness vs. Steelers|
|10.27.2017||--||$12,154||Kicking Roosevelt Nix|
|8.28.2017||Three-game suspension (after appeal)||$1,400,469||Illegal hit against Anthony Sherman|
|4.1.2016||Three-game suspension||$502,941||Hit on a defenseless receiver (Antonio Brown)|
|12.18.2016||--||$69,454||Multiple unsportsmanlike conducts|
|10.15.2014||--||$25,000||Ankle-twist on Cam Newton and Greg Olsen|
|9.27.2013||--||$21,000||Hit on a defenseless receiver (James Jones)|
|9.27.2013||--||$10,000||Striking player in the groin|