With the Pittsburgh Steelers having officially parted ways with both Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown this offseason, it would appear that the Cincinnati Bengals no longer feel the need to employ the man whose job it was to injure them after news of the release of Vontaze Burfict emerged on Monday.
Signed by the Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2012, Burfict would quickly go on to establish himself as one of the league most undisciplined repeat violent offenders. From spitting in players faces to twisting knees and ankles, while the Cincinnati linebacker would become synonymous with the words “dirty player,” he would also become something of a folk hero to Bengals fans for his borderline criminal behavior in games against Pittsburgh.
Fined more than $4.2 million for his illegal play and drug taking, Burfict was also suspended three times over the course of his career. Twice serving three games bans for hits on Antonio Brown and Anthony Sherman of the Kansas City Chiefs, and also a four game suspension for PED use.
However, as much as he will be remembered by fans around the league for his disgraceful style of play that should have resulted in a life ban years ago, many Steelers fans will likely best remember him as the player who was laid out by JuJu Smith-Schuster during his rookie season.
After Marvin Lewis was fired at the end last year, the writing always seemed to be on the wall for the uncontrollable linebacker, with the former head coach his most ardent supporter. But given the Cleveland Browns interest in wayward players as of late, it would not be a complete surprise to see them sign him in the coming days.