Speaking of linebackers that could not contribute much to a struggling defense, Vontaze Burfict may have been a better fit than Whitehead but he did not have much of a chance to prove it due to his suspension.
The former Bengal was one of the talks of training camp as he reportedly emerged as a leader for the defense and his knowledge of Paul Guenther’s system made him a valuable resource to the young linebackers but it’s hard to lead when you’re not even allowed in the building.
Burfict’s suspension in Week 4 ensured that 2013 would be the last time that he played a full season and 2016 was the last time he played more than 10 games. Given his reputation the NFL may choose to suspend him if he even looks at a defenseless receiver funny but his injury track record is cause for concern as well.
His tenure with the Raiders may have been short and sweet as he played well in the four games he suited up for but he is simply not worth the risk even at the veteran minimum. Much like Whitehead, if the Raiders include him as a key figure in their 2020 plans then the defense is in serious trouble.