Free agency: Oakland Raiders sign linebacker Vontaze Burfict
By Brad Weiss
The Oakland Raiders continue to bolster their roster for 2019, signing former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Tuesday.
When the Cincinnati Bengals released Vontaze Burfict on Monday, it seemed like a no-brainer that the Oakland Raiders would at least take a look at him. On Tuesday, they brought Burfict in for an interview, and by the end of the day, the two sides had struck a deal for the linebacker.
During his time with the Bengals, Burfict was known for his issues on the field, as he was suspended multiple times by the NFL for illegal hits. Prior to the start of the 2018 season, Burfict was suspended for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy, making it three years in a row that he began a season suspended.
For the Raiders, he brings talent to a position group that needs some, and he is certainly familiar with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. The two were together during their time in Cincinnati, and Guenther made him the focal point of his defense, so you know he played a big role in bringing the Pro Bowler to the Silver and Black.
According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the deal for Burfict is a one-year deal, and the hope is that he can finally stay out of trouble. He has also had issues in the past with current star wide receiver Antonio Brown, so it will be interesting to see how fast they can bury the hatchet heading into next season.
Last year, Oakland brought in Tahir Whitehead to man one of the outside linebacker spots, and now the likelihood is Burfict will be the man in the middle. They still need to add talent to the position group, but this is a great signing, especially for one year.