The Cincinnati Bengals finally did what they should have done many times over and cut linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Monday.
The big picture: Burfict is a danger to himself and others when playing the game of football. If there is any real concern for player safety in the NFL, Burfict must remain unemployed going forward.
An extensive history: Dating back to very early in his career, Burfict has been the dirtiest player in football. Here’s a list of his NFL suspensions and fines:
- September 22, 2013: Fined twice, totaling $31,000, for illegal hits on Packers tight end Ryan Taylor and receiver James Jones.
- October 13, 2013: Fined $7,875 for a facemask on Bills running back Fred Jackson.
- October 27, 2013: Fned $21,000 for lowering his helmet on a hit against Jets receiver Stephen Hill.
- October 12, 2014: Fined $25,000 for twisting the ankles of Panthers players.
- December 13, 2015: Hit with three separate fines totaling $69,450 against the Steelers.
- January 9, 2016: Suspended three-games due to consistent violations of player safety, sparked by the vicious shot he took to the head of Antonio Brown.
- October 16, 2016: Fined $75,000 for stomping on LeGarrette Blount’s leg.
- November 20, 2016: Fined $12,154 for flipping off fans in Buffalo.
- August 28, 2017: Suspended three games (reduced from five) for a brutal hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman.
- April 12, 2018: Suspended the first four games of the 2018 season after testing positive for PEDs.
- October 20, 2018: Fined $112,000 for hits on Antonio Brown and James Conner.
If NFL owners are going to collude against anybody it should be Vontaze Burfict. pic.twitter.com/qH7WuAo3TI
— robertklemko (@RobertKlemko) March 19, 2019
The bottom line: Despite being a talented player, Burfict is far too often an out-of-control mess on the field. He’s a menace. He’s the dirtiest player of this generation, and has the receipts to prove it.
The NFL has said it is emphasizing player safety. If that truly is the case, then there is no place for a player like Burfict in the game today.