Coming into the 2012 NFL Draft, then-Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict had a reputation. Some pundits labeled him as lazy and/or undisciplined, while others loved the fire and tenacity he showed in the earlier years during college. Fortunately for the Bengals, who grabbed him as an undrafted free agent, the latter characteristics have surfaced, and not so much those of the former.
Burfict has had a rocky start to the 2014 season. He has made some big-time plays, especially against Baltimore on opening weekend, but a string of concussions has limited his play the subsequent four games. He returned to the lineup in Week Six and had 10 total tackles in the tied contest.
However, the Pro Bowl linebacker caught some fire for allegedly twisting the ankles of Panthers tight end Greg Olsen and quarterback Cam Newton. It seemed like more than coincidental that Burfict did this to two Carolina players who had suffered ankle injuries recently. Aside from those two ankle twists that went uncalled as penalties, Burfict did have two other personal foul calls against him. For those un-penalized antics, Burfict was fined $25,000 by the NFL.
According to multiple sources, Burfict will be appealing his fine. It's unclear what ground he has to stand on in his appeal, but he'll try anyhow. According to Ed Werder of ESPN, the league has recognized Burfict as a "repeat offender" on illegal hits and they aren't giving him much rope on anything remotely questionable. In fact, it's likely that if another instance like this were to occur, the league would move to suspension.