Vontaze Burfict will be allowed to play again in the NFL, at least until his next dirty hit.
Burfict, the Oakland Raiders linebacker whose on-field behavior has led to multiple suspensions, was reinstated last month, Tom Pelissero reported on NFL Network. Burfict was suspended for the rest of the 2019 season after an illegal hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle in Week 4.
From Vontaze Burfict’s agent, Peter Schaffer, who told me Burfict has been working out at his alma mater, Arizona State (where Burfict has an advocate in former #Bengals coach Marvin Lewis). pic.twitter.com/4wa3wCmajQ
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 24, 2020
Burfict served 12 games and can now return. We’ll see if he is done headhunting opponents.
Vontaze Burfict has a long history
The reason Burfict got a 12-game suspension, the longest in NFL history for an on-field hit, was due to his history.
Burfict’s history of misbehavior goes back to Arizona State. Burfict, despite having tremendous talent, wasn’t even drafted due to the red flags. The Cincinnati Bengals signed him after the draft and he became one of the NFL’s best linebackers.
But Burfict couldn’t stay out of trouble. The most notable dirty hit of his career came against Pittsburgh Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in a playoff game. That hit knocked out Brown for the Steelers’ next playoff game, and resulted in a suspension for Burfict.
The hit on Doyle was just one of many dirty hits in Burfict’s career, and the NFL sent a message.
What’s next for Burfict?
The Raiders supported Burfict after the hit on Doyle, saying the suspension was too long. Still, it doesn’t mean the Raiders will have him back.
The Raiders signed Burfict to a modest one-year deal worth $2 million, with only $300,000 guaranteed. There wasn’t more interest in Burfict, who will be a free agent again, because of his history. Another dirty hit and another suspension won’t help him get more interest as a free agent even though he’s just 29 years old. It’s impossible to depend on him, knowing he can’t help himself with illegal hits and the next suspension will be an even longer one.
Burfict can play again in the NFL. He might have a tough time finding a team that will sign him.
More from Yahoo Sports: