They may have left it to the last minute, but the NFL has finally taken action against Vontaze Burfict for his questionable play in his Week 6 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. For the 13th time in his career, the Cincinnati Bengals linebacker has been disciplined by the league, this time hit with the largest fine he has ever received for one game without it also coming with a suspension.
Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict was fined $112,000 for multiple plays that constituted unnecessary roughness in Cincinnati’s Week 6 game against Pittsburgh, including the plays involving the Steelers’ Antonio Brown (11:19 in 3rd quarter) and James Conner (5:17 in 3rd quarter).— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 20, 2018
As you would expect, one of the obvious plays that drew the ire of the league was his hit on Antonio Brown in the third quarter.
The real Vontaze Burfict has arrived. pic.twitter.com/msxyIj8Js7— Chris Mack (@THEChrisMack) October 14, 2018
As well as his shot to the head of James Conner that ended with him being stiff-armed out of the way by the Steelers’ running back.
.@JamesConner_ out here throwing bows pic.twitter.com/r4NOda74iK— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 14, 2018
Thanks to this latest punishment, Burfict has brought the total amount of money he has lost to fine or suspension to a staggering $4,158,408. His complete list of fines and suspensions so far based on data from Spotrac.com.
2013 Week 3 - Fined a total of $31,000 for a hit in a defenseless receiver and intentionally striking an opponent in the groin against Green Bay Packers.
2013 Week 6 - Fined $7,875 for a facemask on Fred Jackson in game against the Buffalo Bills
2013 Week 8 - Fined $21,000 for spearing New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill.
2014 Week 6 - Fined $25,000 for twisting the ankles of both Cam Newton and Greg Olsen in separate incidents in a game against the Carolina Panther.
2015 Week 14 - Fined $69,454 for three separate incidents against the Steelers.
2015 Week 17 - Fined $50,000 for a late hit on Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams.
2015/16 AFC Wildcard - Suspended for three games for a hit on a defenseless receiver after hitting Antonio Brown in the head. Lost a total of $502,941 in salary.
2016 Week 6 - Fined $75,000 for stepping on the leg of LeGarrett Blount in a game against the New England Patriots.
2016 Week 11 - Fined $12,153 for giving the middle finger to a Buffalo Bills fan.
2017 Preseason Week 2 - Suspended for three games for a hit on a Anthony Sherman of the Kansas City Chiefs. Lost a total of $1,400,469 in salary.
2017 Week 7 - Fined $12,154 for kicking Roosevelt Nix.
2018 - Suspended four games for the use of performance enhancing drugs. Lost a total of $1,839,362 in salary.
2018 Week 6 - Fined $112,000 for multiple plays that constituted unnecessary roughness in a game against the Steelers.
As much as it would have made sense for the league to suspend the Bengals’ uncontrollable linebacker, the NFL has never been know to doing the right thing in a timely fashion. The size of this fine is more about him being a repeat offender than the severity of his crimes last Sunday and it can only be imagined what heights the next one will reach. With Cincinnati unlikely to do anything about him internally, it should be expected that Burfict will be in trouble for another questionable performances before the year is out.