Vontaze Burfict’s next suspension should be Indefinite

SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 20: Vontaze Burfict
SANTA CLARA, CA - DECEMBER 20: Vontaze Burfict /

Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict’s suspension for a hit on Anthony Sherman is now three games. But Burfict’s next violation should come with an indefinite suspension.

There was a time in the NFL’s past when a player like Vontaze Burfict would be celebrated for his aggressive, hard-hitting style.  But in today’s NFL where player safety has become a bigger priority, Burfict’s style is under a high degree of scrutiny.

The speed of the NFL game makes it hard for players to think before they act.  But a player with Vontaze Burfict’s reputation has to understand the need for increased safety.  And it’s now to the point where Burfict has no choice.

HIs hit on Anthony Sherman was technically legal but was it necessary.  I don’t think the NFL should have reduced Vontaze Burfict’s suspension from five games to three.  Because even if it wasn’t intentional, there have been occasions where Vontaze Burfict has intentionally hit players illegally.

So It is imperative that the NFL send a message to players that illegal hits won’t be tolerated and I don’t think Burfict deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The more we learn about CTE the greater the need to try to prevent it.  I love big hits just like most fans do, but the effect they have on player’s health isn’t worth it.  Just make the sound tackle and move on.

Vontaze Burfict’s head coach Marvin Lewis tried to defend him.   Saying that because of his size and explosiveness, it’s hard for Burfict to adjust on how he delivers a blow.  Here’s what Lewis had to say:

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"“In my opinion Vontaze has changed,’ Lewis said. “He’s learned, he’s changed, but in my opinion he’s a 250-pound man that hits like a dynamite. It’s like getting hit by a cement truck. That’s just the way he plays. He’s got great hip explosion; that’s why he’s the player he is. … The dynamics of his body are such that it’s like getting hit by a 300-pound person.”"

What Lewis is saying may have some truth to it but it’s not an excuse.  I don’t want Burfict walking on egg shells out there but if he’s changed, then he hasn’t changed enough.  He has to do it not only for the safety of other players but so he can stay in the league.

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Don’t get me wrong, Vontaze Burfict is a good player and I like to watch him play.  But he must show more awareness in how safely he plays the game.  Otherwise, an indefinite suspension is in order on his next illegal hit.