Could the Bengals be preparing to change the franchise and defense for the 2018 NFL season?
According to WIAT42 sports reporter Chris Renkel, the Bengals are working on trading Vontaze Burfict to the Oakland Raiders.
Source: Oakland Raiders are working to trade for Cincinnati Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict.— Chris Renkel CBS 42 (@Chris_Renkel) March 14, 2018
Bengals just signed Burfict to a 3 year $38 mill extension last season.
I would consider this nothing more than a rumor until we have more details and a better source. There is another report out now, but it’s also not a high-quality one.
The #Raiders and Bengals are engaged in talk that would send Vontez Burfict to Oakland per sources— Joe Arrigo (@joearrigo) March 14, 2018
This is likely nothing more than a rumor and not something to worry about.
It would be shocking for the Bengals to trade away Burfict who has been one of Marvin Lewis’ guys and someone Lewis has defended without end. With that said, former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is now in the same role with the Raiders and he may be aiming to get his former linebacker to come to Oakland with him.
Burfict has accumulated 281 tackles, 5 interceptions, 4 forced fumbles, 5 fumble recoveries and 8.5 sacks in six seasons with the Bengals. During that time, he’s developed a reputation for being a dirty player and has paid the price with two suspensions. The first came in 2016 as a result of his actions in the wildcard playoff game against the Steelers that ended the Bengals’ season. That cost him three games to start the 2016 season. The next came against the Chiefs in a preseason game and netted Burfict a one-game suspension for a controversial and borderline play.
If Burfict were to be traded away, the Bengals would have a major issue at the linebacker position where Burfict has been the only reliable starter on the roster. Other than Burfict, the Bengals have Nick Vigil, Brandon Bell, Jordan Evans, Hardy Nickerson and Vincent Rey at the position. There’s also Carl Lawson who the team still lists as a linebacker even though he’s more of an EDGE guy. Kevin Minter is a free agent as of 4:00 p.m. ET today.
As far as confirmation in Cincinnati goes, there’s this from the Cincinnati Enquirer:
As for this other thing floating around the Twitter about the #Bengals … Yeah … That dude must be so plugged in that the people who are plugged in have no idea what that even is.— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) March 14, 2018
For now, this is just a rumor. The Raiders may be (or might have been) trying to work out a deal, but I don’t think the Bengals are realistically going to be parting ways with Burfict any time soon.