Vontaze Burfict's reputation as arguably the game's most volatile player continues to precede him. The Cincinnati Bengals' linebacker has been suspended four games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancing drugs, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Friday.
Burfict gives new meaning to the term repeat offender. He has racked up more than $2 million in fines and served three-game suspensions to begin each of the past two seasons for his egregiously dirty play on the field.
Now Burfict's actions off the field could cost him far more. The 27-year-old signed a three-year, $38 million deal last year, but NFL Media's Ian Rapoport said the Bengals protected themselves in the contract by inserting a contract clause that would allow them to recoup the guaranteed portion of Burfict's deal — $11.3 million (!) — if he loses his appeal.
Burfict has reportedly been connected to the Oakland Raiders in trade talks this offseason, and the Bengals, likely knowing this news was coming down the pipeline, signed former Buffalo Bill Preston Brown to a one-year deal earlier on Friday.
Add it all up and it's possible we've seen the last of Burfict as a Bengal.
In addition to the suspension for an illegal preseason hit on Kansas City Chiefs FB Anthony Sherman, Burfict missed the final three games of the season with a scary concussion sustained by a crack-back block from Pittsburgh Steelers rookie WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. Burfict hasn't played a full season since 2013, his second year in the league, when he earned a Pro Bowl nod after leading the NFL in tackles.