Vontaze Burfict
Vontaze DeLeon Burfict Jr. (/ˈvɒntɛz ˈbɜːrfɪkt/ VON-tez BUR-fikt; born September 24, 1990) is an American football player for the Cincinnati Bengals of

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Vontaze Burfict Burfict with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2015No. 55 – Cincinnati BengalsPosition: LinebackerPersonal informationBorn: (1990-09-24) September 24, 1990 (age 27)
Los Angeles, CaliforniaHeight: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)Weight: 251 lb (114 kg)Career informationHigh school: Corona (CA) CentennialCollege: Arizona StateUndrafted: 2012Career history Roster status: SuspendedCareer highlights and awards Career NFL statistics as of 2017 Total tackles: 571Sacks: 8.5Interceptions: 5Forced fumbles: 4Fumble recoveries: 5Defensive touchdowns: 1 Player stats at NFL.com

Vontaze DeLeon Burfict Jr. (/ˈvɒntɛz ˈbɜːrfɪkt/ VON-tez BUR-fikt;[1] born September 24, 1990) is an American football player for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He was signed by the Bengals as an undrafted free agent in 2012.[2] He played college football at Arizona State. Burfict has earned a reputation as a dirty player for multiple incidents throughout his career.[3][4] He has accumulated $4,038,534 in fines through his career.[5]

Burfict was considered the most highly ranked football prospect Arizona State ever signed to a letter of intent,[6][7] but had an up-and-down career for the Sun Devils. An All-American in 2010, Burfict was projected an early first round pick for the 2012 NFL Draft on the eve of his junior season.[8][9][10] However, a mediocre on-field performance and poor pre-draft workouts deteriorated his draft stock. He went on to have a productive rookie season, starting 14 games and leading the team in tackles.[11]

Although Burfict has established himself as one of the most feared linebackers in the NFL,[12] he surprisingly carries a friendly and honest persona in the locker room as well as a clean legal record since his entry to the league.[13][14]

Contents High school career

Burfict attended Centennial High School in Corona, California, where he was part of an undefeated Huskies team that won a CIF title, a state championship with the help of quarterback Taylor Martinez, and was ranked second in the nation by USA Today in 2008.[15] That year, Burfict led the Huskies with 159 tackles, two quarterback sacks, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. Burfict participated in the US Army All-American Bowl and was the third-leading tackler for the West team. He also earned numerous All-American honors, including Parade.[16]

As a junior, Burfict collected a team-high 130 tackles and added four sacks, two interceptions and one fumble recovery. He helped anchor a linebackers unit that included fellow Sun Devils Shelly Lyons and Brandon Magee. Corona Centennial finished the 2007 season as No. 24 on USA Today‘s Top 25.[17]

Burfict missed almost all of his sophomore season due to academic problems.[18]

He played in the 2009 U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Considered a five-star recruit by Rivals.com and Scout.com, Burfict was listed as the No. 1 inside linebacker prospect in the nation.[19][20]

US college sports recruiting information for high school athletes Name Hometown High school / college Height Weight 40‡ Commit date Vontaze Burfict
LB Corona, California Centennial High School (CA) 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 245 lb (111 kg) 4.6 Feb 4, 2009  Recruiting star ratings: Scout:   Rivals:   247Sports: N/A    ESPN grade: 85 Overall recruiting rankings: Scout: 1 (MLB)   Rivals: 1 (ILB), 2 (CA)  ESPN: 1 (LB)


College career Burfict (left) pointing at USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley in 2011

Burfict originally committed to play for the USC Trojans, but eventually switched to Arizona State on National Signing Day.[21] He joined ASU's 2009 class that included three of his high school teammates.[22] By July 2009, he struggled to meet admission standard based on the NCAA eligibility sliding scale and still had one summer school class to complete.[23] Sun Devils coach Dennis Erickson, who compared Burfict to Ray Lewis,[7] expected him to be academically eligible for enrollment.[24] Burfict did qualify on time for the 2010 football season.

By midseason, Burfict ranked second in the team with 30 tackles despite starting only three of six games, and had five tackles for a loss, two sacks, and three pass break-ups. ESPN named him Arizona State's midseason defensive MVP.[25] In a road game against Georgia on September 26, Burfict collected a season-high 11 tackles (three solo) and one and half tackles for loss. He led the Sun Devils in tackles in five games over the course of the season. By the end of the year, he had collected 69 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and a pair of sacks, and was named a Freshman All-American by College Football News,[26] and by the Football Writers Association of America.[27] He was also honored as the Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Freshman of the Year.

At the start of his sophomore season, Burfict was named First-Team Preseason All-American by The Sporting News. He was also named to the watchlists of the 2010 Rotary Lombardi Award and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy.[28]

On October 6, 2010, Burfict was benched by Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson. The reason given was Burfict's unusually high number of personal foul penalties.[29] In a game against Stanford, Burfict was called for grabbing the facemask of Doug Baldwin, and—after complaining to the referee—charged with a personal foul for unsportsmanlike conduct that gave Stanford a first down at the ASU 7.[30] Two plays later, Stanford scored what turned out to be the winning touchdown.[31]

Burfict finished the 2010 season with a team leading 90 tackles, 8.5 for a loss, and two forced fumbles. The Sporting News selected him to their All-American team, as well as Pacific-10 Defensive MVP.[32] Burfict is ASU's first 1st team All-American since Terrell Suggs.

With senior cornerback Omar Bolden lost for the season to a knee injury, Burfict was expected to take over as the leader of the Sun Devils defense in 2011,[33][34] but eventually had a rather inconsistent junior season. Burfict decided to forgo his senior year at Arizona State and entered the 2012 NFL Draft.[35]

Professional career 2012 NFL Draft

When he entered his junior season, Burfict was regarded as one of the best linebackers available in the 2012 NFL Draft, projected to go as high as the fifth pick.[8][9][10] Problems on and off the field at Arizona State, however, caused his draft stock to plummet. In October 2011, Sports Illustrated′s Tony Pauline still ranked him as the No. 20 prospect on his midseason draft board, but noted that he has been "a loose cannon on and off the field, which has raised red flags."[36]

Burfict entered the NFL Combine rated as the third best inside linebacker, behind Luke Kuechly and Dont'a Hightower, but his "disappointing" performance—including a 5.09 sec in the 40-yard dash, slowest among linebackers—caused some analysts to project him as a third day (Rd. 4-7) draft pick.[37][38] NFL scouts also faulted him for his interview process, in which he blamed the Arizona State coaching staff for his mediocre junior season.[39] Later it was also reported that Burfict tested positive for marijuana at the combine.[40]

Pre-draft measurables Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP 6 ft 1 1⁄4 in
(1.86 m) 248 lb
(112 kg) 31 1⁄4 in
(0.79 m) 9 3⁄4 in
(0.25 m) 5.09 s 30 in
(0.76 m) 9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m) 16 reps All values from NFL combine, except BP (ASU Pro Day)

At the Arizona State pro day on March 16, Burfict had an "average" performance by his own estimation.[41] According to Sports Illustrated's Tony Pauline, Burfict "looked poorly conditioned and out-of-place in drills".[42][43] In their draft coverage, SI.com projected him as 7th round to undrafted.[44] Burfict eventually went undrafted, but was signed by the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent.[2]

Burfict at Bengals training camp in 2012 2012 season

An undrafted rookie, Burfict managed to make the Cincinnati Bengals' roster. He played in all 16 games and started 14 of those, finishing the seasons as the Bengals' top tackler with 127 combined tackles, including 18 tackles in their final game of the year against their divisional rival Baltimore Ravens. When Burfict was on field, the Bengals defense allowed 2.4 yards fewer per play, allowing 4.5 compared to 6.9 when he was off the field.[11]

2013 season

For incidents that occurred in the 34–30 win over the Green Bay Packers in Week 3 of the 2013 season, Burfict was fined a total of $31,000.[45] He had hit a defenseless receiver (James Jones) and intentionally struck an opponent in the groin (Ryan Taylor).[46]

Burfict finished the 2013 season leading the NFL in tackles with 171, and was the only Bengals defensive player selected to the Pro Bowl. He was the first Bengals linebacker to make the Pro Bowl since Jim LeClair in 1976. Burfict also topped the list for the NFL'Performance-Based Pay' program with earning $299,465.[47]

2014 season Burfict at 2014 Bengals training camp

On August 20, 2014, Burfict signed a four-year contract extension with the Bengals.[48]

On October 10, 2014, Panthers tight end Greg Olsen accused Burfict of intentionally trying to injure Olsen and Panthers quarterback Cam Newton by twisting their ankles after the play was over.[49] On October 15, 2014, Burfict was fined $25,000 for twisting ankles on both Newton and Olsen.[50]

2015 season

On December 15, 2015, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger accused Burfict of having intentionally targeted his ankle in the teams' regular season game on December 13.[51] Burfict was fined for the hit a few days later[52] and planned to appeal.

On January 9, 2016, in the AFC Wild Card Round against the Steelers, Burfict committed a critical penalty with 18 seconds left in the fourth quarter, when the Bengals were leading Pittsburgh 16-15. Ben Roethlisberger had reentered the game, drove from inside his own 10 yard line, and crossed midfield into Bengals territory. The penalty, which was for an illegal hit to the head on Antonio Brown after Brown had converted a 4th and 3 for a 1st down into Bengal territory, which together with a second personal foul by Adam Jones positioned Pittsburgh to kick a go-ahead field goal and win the game, 18-16, and advance to the divisional round against the Denver Broncos.[53] On January 11, the NFL announced that Burfict would be suspended for the first three games of the 2016 season for repeated violations of player safety rules.[54]

2016 season This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2018)

After serving a suspension of 3 games to begin the season, Burfict started 11 games in 2016. He participated in 101 tackles, 73 of them individually, had two interceptions for 54 yards, and recovered one fumble.

2017 season

On August 28, Burfict was suspended for the first five games of the 2017 regular season due to a hit he made on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the second preseason game.[55] On August 30, he appealed, and his suspension was reduced to three games.[56] On September 7, Burfict signed a three-year extension worth $38.68 million with a $3.3 million signing bonus.[57] During Week 7 against the Steelers, Burfict lunged both his feet in the face mask of Roosevelt Nix before trying to get back up. The scene occurred with 43 seconds of regulation beginning, but no flag was thrown.[58][59] On October 27, Burfict was fined $12,154.[60] During Week 10 against the Tennessee Titans, Burfict's troubles continued as he committed two personal foul penalties. The first penalty was a late hit on DeMarco Murray, and the other was unsportsmanlike conduct, where he bumped into an official (although camera footage did not show). Burfict was subsequently ejected for the first time in his NFL career, and left by imitating a celebration taunt by Johnny Manziel.[61][62][63] Burfict became the victim of a blindside hit by JuJu Smith-Schuster during Monday Night Football against the Steelers in Week 13, being carted off the field with a concussion. Smith-Schuster was suspended for one game for the hit.[64]

2018 season

On March 16, 2018, Burfict was suspended for four games due to a PED violation.[65][66]

Career statistics Year Team GP GS Tackles Interceptions Fumbles Comb Total Ast Sck SFTY PDef Int Yds Avg Lng TDs FF 2012 Bengals 16 14 127 73 54 1.0 -- 2 -- -- -- -- -- -- 2013 Bengals 16 16 171 114 57 3.0 -- 6 1 12 12.0 12 -- 1 2014 Bengals 5 5 29 15 14 -- -- 2 -- -- -- -- -- 1 2015 Bengals 10 10 74 57 17 1.0 -- 5 2 16 8.0 16 -- -- 2016 Bengals 11 11 101 73 28 2.0 -- 8 2 54 27.0 47 -- 1 Total 58 56 502 332 170 7.0 -- 23 5 82 15.7 47 -- 3 Personal life

Burfict was born in South Los Angeles. His father, a gang member and convicted cocaine dealer, was incarcerated most of the time and never had a relationship with his son.[67] His mother, a city transit bus driver, initially raised Burfict and his older half-brother DaShan Miller (b. 1986) on her own, but eventually remarried and moved to Corona.[67][68] Like Burfict, Miller was a football player at Corona Centennial High School, and later played college football at UTEP and Akron.[68] Miller was eligible for the 2010 NFL Draft, but he went undrafted.

  1. ^ "Cincinnati Bengals: Vontaze Burfict". 
  2. ^ a b "Undrafted LB Burfict gets chance with Bengals". Yahoo! Sports. May 11, 2012. 
  3. ^ Frank Schwab (November 12, 2017). "Vontaze Burfict, NFL's dirtiest player, gets himself ejected and imitates Johnny Manziel". yahoo.com. Retrieved January 20, 2018. 
  4. ^ Ryan Phillips (September 7, 2017). "Vontaze Burfict, Football's Dirtiest Player, Signs $38.68 Million Extension". thebiglead.com. Retrieved January 20, 2018. 
  5. ^ "Spotrac.com: Vontaze Burfict fines". Spotrac.com. Retrieved January 20, 2018. 
  6. ^ Arizona State University Football Signs 21 Players to Letters of Intent, February 4, 2009 
  7. ^ a b Bordow, Scott (August 15, 2009), "Burfict has perfect linebacker philosophy", East Valley Tribune, archived from the original on August 18, 2009 
  8. ^ a b Prisco, Pete (May 1, 2011). "Flash forward: Top 32 picks for the 2012 NFL Draft". CBSSports.com. 
  9. ^ a b Pauline, Tony (May 3, 2011). "Stanford's Luck headlines early look at top 2012 draft prospects". Sports Illustrated. 
  10. ^ a b Reuter, Chad (May 4, 2011). "2012 mock draft: First look with Luck and Heels". CBSSports.com. 
  11. ^ a b "Burfict's impact on Bengals is unmatched". 
  12. ^ "Bengals' Vontaze Burfict listed as one of NFL's best OLBs by SI". 
  13. ^ "Vontaze Burfict portrayed as "bad guy" despite honesty in ESPN interview". 
  14. ^ "Only 1 guy in the NFL is more hated than Vontaze Burfict". 
  15. ^ "Fort Lauderdale's Aquinas finishes season atop Super 25", USA Today, December 22, 2008 
  16. ^ O'Shea, Michael (January 25, 2009), "Meet PARADE's All-America High School Football Team", Parade 
  17. ^ "Miami Northwestern crowned Super 25 champion", USA Today, December 26, 2007 
  18. ^ Crabtree, Jeremy (November 4, 2007), "Junior LB makes the grades, delivers impact", USA Today 
  19. ^ Rivals.com inside linebackers 2009, January 16, 2009 
  20. ^ "Linebackers 2009", Scout.com 
  21. ^ Sondheimer, Eric (February 4, 2009), "ASU gets big-time recruit in linebacker Burfict", Los Angeles Times 
  22. ^ Kosmider, Nick (2009-02-11). "ASU adds wide receiver to recruiting class". State Press. Retrieved 2012-12-04. 
  23. ^ Metcalfe, Jeff (July 18, 2009), "HS coach 'relatively optimistic' about Burfict qualifying", The Arizona Republic 
  24. ^ Metcalfe, Jeff (August 13, 2009), "ASU expects Burfict to be eligible", The Arizona Republic 
  25. ^ Miller, Ted (October 20, 2009), "Midseason review: Arizona State", ESPN.com 
  26. ^ Cirminiello, Richard (December 8, 2009), "2009 CFN All-Freshman Team: Defense & Special Teams", College Football News, archived from the original on December 19, 2013, retrieved March 10, 2017 
  27. ^ "2009 AON Insurance/FWAA Freshman All-America Team", FWAA, January 7, 2010 .
  28. ^ "ASU's Vontaze Burfict Named First-Team All-American By Sporting News". ASU Athletics Football. June 22, 2010. 
  29. ^ Metcalfe, Jeff (October 5, 2010). "Dennis Erickson takes Vontaze Burfict out of Arizona State starting lineup vs. Washington". The Arizona Republic. 
  30. ^ Highlights: (6) Stanford - ASU on YouTube
  31. ^ Boivin, Paola (November 13, 2010). "ASU football team sees spirited effort derailed by Vontaze Burfict's mistakes". The Arizona Republic. 
  32. ^ "Burfict honored as an All-American". The Arizona Republic. 2010-12-15. 
  33. ^ Haller, Doug (April 21, 2011). "ASU's Vontaze Burfict embracing leadership role". The Arizona Republic. 
  34. ^ Dodd, Dennis (May 20, 2011). "Burfict timing? Arizona State can climb if 'backer grows up". CBS Sports. 
  35. ^ "Vontaze Burfict enters NFL draft". ESPN. Jan 3, 2012. 
  36. ^ Pauline, Tony (October 24, 2011). "Andrew Luck, Trent Richardson high in midseason NFL draft rankings". SI.com. 
  37. ^ Rang, Rob (February 27, 2012). "Lackluster Combine could push Burfict to Day 3". CBS Sports. 
  38. ^ Banks, Don (February 29, 2012). "Andrew Luck, Stephen Hill, Vontaze Burfict make their mark on NFL combine". SI.com. 
  39. ^ Feldman, Bruce (February 27, 2012). "Burfict from yellow flags to red ones?". CBS Sports. 
  40. ^ Sports, Fox. "Arizona". 
  41. ^ Marotta, Vince (March 16, 2012). "ASU Pro Day: Burfict 'average', Bolden '100% healthy'". Arizona Sports. 
  42. ^ "Pro Day Tracker". 
  43. ^ "Vontaze Burfict bombs his Pro Day, too". 
  44. ^ "Vontaze Burfict". CNN. 
  45. ^ "Vontaze Burfict fined $31,000 for two Week 3 incidents". NFL.com. September 27, 2013. 
  46. ^ "Bengals' Vontaze Burfict racks up $31K in Week 3 fines". USA Today. September 27, 2013. 
  47. ^ "Vontaze Burfict earns top figure in 'Performance-Based Pay'". 
  48. ^ Coppinger, Mike (August 20, 2014). "Vontaze Burfict, Bengals reach long-term extension". nfl.com. Retrieved March 10, 2018. 
  49. ^ "Panthers' Olsen: Burfict tried to hurt players". 
  50. ^ ESPN News Services (October 15, 2014). "Vontaze Burfict fined $25,000". ESPN.com. Retrieved October 16, 2014. 
  51. ^ "Ben Roethlisberger: Vontaze Burfict intentionally dived at my legs". 
  52. ^ "Vontaze Burfict's cheap low hit on Big Ben costs him a heavy fine". 
  53. ^ "Vontaze Burfict, Pacman Jones commit two personal fouls to give Steelers game-winner". SBNation.com. Retrieved 2016-01-10. 
  54. ^ "Bengals' Vontaze Burfict suspended three games, plans to appeal". Yahoo.com. 
  55. ^ Orr, Conor (August 28, 2017). "Bengals' Vontaze Burfict facing 5-game suspension". NFL.com. 
  56. ^ "Vontaze Burfict's suspension reduced to three games". NFL.com. August 30, 2017. 
  57. ^ Knoblauch, Austin. "Vontaze Burfict, Bengals agree on 3-year extension". NFL.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017. 
  58. ^ "Surprise, Vontaze Burfict Kicked A Guy". Deadspin. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  59. ^ "Bengals' Vontaze Burfict may be fined but won't be suspended". ESPN. Retrieved October 23, 2017. 
  60. ^ "Vontaze Burfict fined $12K for kicking Roosevelt Nix". NFL. Retrieved October 27, 2017. 
  61. ^ "Vontaze Burfict ejected for contact with official". NFL. Retrieved November 12, 2017. 
  62. ^ "Vontaze Burfict ejected for making contact with official". NFL. Retrieved November 12, 2017. 
  63. ^ Sessler, Marc. "Vontaze Burfict won't face ban for flag in Bengals' loss". NFL. Retrieved November 13, 2017. 
  64. ^ Patra, Kevin. "JuJu Smith-Schuster, George Iloka each suspended for one game". NFL. Retrieved December 5, 2017. 
  65. ^ "Vontaze Burfict facing 4-game suspension for PED violation". NFL. Retrieved March 16, 2018. 
  66. ^ "Vontaze Burfict's future with Bengals safe -- for now". NFL. Retrieved April 1, 2018. 
  67. ^ a b Dillon, Dennis (April 20, 2012). "Burfict working hard to overcome bad reputation, plummeting stock". SI.com. 
  68. ^ a b Roenigk, Alyssa (April 23, 2012). "ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict is draft's most misunderstood player". ESPN The Magazine. 
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