As reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the league has suspended Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict for the first three games of the 2016 NFL season. The Bengals lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday, 18-16, in a game that the Bengals had virtually secured. The game was marred by a significant number of dangerous tackles, in addition to debris thrown onto the field by the Cincinnati crowd. The analysts at NFL Network have delivered a detailed account of the major turning points of the game.
Burfict had been fined nearly $70,000 for unsportsmanlike penalties in the Bengals’ Week 14 loss to the Steelers less than a month ago.
After entering the league as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals in 2012, Burfict has become a Pro Bowler. Burfict just finished the second season of a four-year, $19 million contract with the Bengals, with a cap hit of $5.1 million this season. In 2016, Burfict will have a cap hit of $3.8 million, and a $1.55 million dead cap hit should the Bengals decide to cut him.
This loss against the Steelers marks the fifth straight season in which the Bengals have lost in the Wild Card round, and have not won a playoff game since the 1990 season.