Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict has been suspended 5 games for a dirty preseason hit against Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman. In the video, you can see Burfict level Sherman who isn’t even looking well after Alex Smith has thrown the ball deep down the field. Some may argue that Burfict believed Smith was throwing to Sherman, but his pedigree of dirty hits would make me believe otherwise. Burfict is appealing the suspension and that will be heard this week.
Burfict was suspended for the first three games of last season for similar plays, most notably when he attempted to decapitate Antonio Brown in the Bengals Steelers playoff game. He clearly hasn’t learned his lesson since then, even after his suspension Burfict still had a lust for trying to end players seasons when he went low on Martellus Bennett. The Bennett hit is very similar to the Sherman play, where Burfict targets a defenseless receiver who isn’t even being targeted by the quarterback on the play.
Burfict’s issues go all the way back to Arizona State where he played college ball. They’ve followed to the NFL, and I’m happy to see Goodell and the NFL suspend Burfict once more. Marvin Jones and the Bengals organization refuses to denounce Burfict’s play in any way, and it’s time for Goodell to step in. Football is a violent sport, but if played correctly nobody is ever out to injure anyone. Burfict’s version of the game involves inflicting as much punishment as humanly possible, with no regard for the rules of the game.
As for the Bengals, this is a pretty big blow to their defense. Their linebacking depth is seriously lacking, and Burfict is a pro-bowl talent. Vincent Rey will likely start in his absence. Rey is a proven veteran but is a step down from Burfict as far as talent goes.
Hopefully Burfict’s 5-game suspension stands, and if he were to have one more egregious infraction in the upcoming season I would hope that he was banned from the NFL for life.