The Bengals launched the second week of free agency with a wide spectrum of emotions.
First things first, Tyler Eifert made it official and signed his new contract on Monday after news that he had reached a deal broke on St. Patrick’s Day weekend.
Excited to be signing back with the @Bengals! Can’t thank the Brown family enough for giving me another opportunity. I look forward to a great season. Oh and signing on St. Paddy’s day? Mood. ☘️☘️ #WHODEY pic.twitter.com/Vkpx74pdwn— Tyler Eifert (@tylereifert) March 16, 2019
Bengals fans and members of the media all had similar reactions. Most were very happy, if not trepidatious, about the prospect of another year with Eifert.
Eifert is good for Dalton. He makes everything easier on the QB.— JG (@JoeGoodberry) March 16, 2019
When Eifert is healthy Bengals offense, more specifically Andy Dalton, look completely different. Has been the case throughout his career.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 16, 2019
I hope eifert has a ridiculous season this year. It would be awesome to see him get come back player of the year— Alec Dacus (@MrAlecDacus) March 18, 2019
I think bringing Eifert back is a solid move. New staff must be dedicated to limiting him to high leverage situations.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 16, 2019
Eifert even got shoutouts from some big names in the local food scene.
Let’s have a celebratory Steak my friend— Jeff Ruby (@TheRealJeffRuby) March 17, 2019
Congrats!— Skyline Chili (@Skyline_Chili) March 17, 2019
And, of course, there were several minions-themed celebrations.
With the news of Eifert inking his new deal, the Bengals released long-time LB Vontaze Burfict. Naturally, it is hard not to see a connection between the two moves.
Burfict's antics so often overshadowed his teammates that it seems sadly appropriate the #Bengals make this move on the same day they reward Tyler Eifert with a contract after another successful, grueling rehab process.— Jay Morrison (@JayMorrisonATH) March 18, 2019
One interesting thing I find about the Burfict situation is how many Bengals fans talk about Tyler Eifert's lack of availability, but Burfict has been almost as bad.— President of the John Ross Fan Club (@PatrickJudis) March 18, 2019
Some of Burfict's absences even being his own fault. Where as Eifert can't control his injuries.
There were mixed reactions about Burfict’s release. Most agree that Burfict, though once an amazing player, has failed to live up to his Pro Bowl season form.
When you play as poorly as Burfict did last year on top of the headache he's been, nobody is trading anything with you to get him. That said, I'm sure Burfict will end up getting a shot with Guenther in Oakland.— Paul Dehner Jr. (@pauldehnerjr) March 18, 2019
I get why people liked Burfict. I appreciated him for awhile.— President of the John Ross Fan Club (@PatrickJudis) March 18, 2019
It is easy to put up with the crossing the line every so often when he is a good player.
He hasn't played all 16 games since 2013, and he was clearly not ready to play after his suspension last year.
It was time
His former teammates also had something to say.
There were others, mostly outside of Cincinnati, that were relieved at the news.
Vontaze Burfict has been the dirtiest player in the league since he arrived in Cincinnati in 2012 as an undrafted free-agent, facing multiple suspension for head hunting and ankle twisting violence beyond the permitted rules— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) March 18, 2019
With Marvin Lewis gone to protect him, hes finally cut https://t.co/NNJzngGaxA
Now that LeVeon Bell and Antonio Brown aren't around to attempt to injure, I guess the Bengals saw no role for Vontaze Burfict.— DJ Gallo (@DJGalloEtc) March 18, 2019
The interesting thing is that the two players have had similar career paths that are finally diverging. Both have had promising starts to their careers, but have not been able to stay on the field.
In both cases, we would have loved to see them stay. But, again, in both cases, keeping them would be an difficult business decision.
Either way, the Bengals probably did the right thing on both counts.