Found April 24, 2013 on Fox Sports:
Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict can relate to every negative emotion that will be felt by hopeful college prospects not chosen in this week's NFL Draft. He also is a prime example of why those players shouldn't necessarily give up on their gridiron dreams. Burfict's own draft-day experience was so hurtful that he says those memories "are pretty much in the trash." It's better that way considering Burfict's football future at this point last year looked like garbage. You name it, Burfict had screwed it up. He was projected as one of college football's top linebackers entering the 2011 season. Then came a series of unsettling incidents both on and off the field at Arizona State followed by mediocre pre-draft workouts and a failed drug test at the NFL Scouting Combine. The 2012 draft concluded without Burfict being one of the 253 players selected. Only three teams even expressed interest in signing him as a college free agent. Burfict took Cincinnati's minimum-salary contract offer that included a paltry $1,000 signing bonus, which was a far cry from the millions in signing bonus money he should have earned for his first-round talent. Burfict's admission that he was a "little disappointed" about not being picked sounds like a massive understatement. But rather than get overwhelmed by bitterness and continuing his downward spiral, Burfict took advantage of the opportunity to become the NFL's best undrafted rookie in 2012. "All I needed was a chance," Burfict told in a Tuesday telephone interview. "I never want to second-guess myself. I always have to think positive. "Every practice I try to simulate as a game. I go in there and do my job. Everything went smoothly." Burfict said he signed with the Bengals -- a franchise known for taking chances on players with checkered pasts -- after being courted by head coach Marvin Lewis and linebackers coach Paul Guenther. Burfict was especially impressed by the fact Lewis was Baltimore's defensive coordinator when future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis first entered the NFL. Cincinnati's veteran defensive players quickly embraced Burfict, which was something he admittedly didn't expect. "I communicated to them what my journey had been like," Burfict said. "They all related to that and understood some things just didn't go my way. They took me under their wings and coach Guenther spent extra time with me watching film to let me understand the whole defense before the other rookies understood it." Burfict continued studying film post-practice to better dissect NFL offenses. His diet improved. Before too long, Burfict began looking like the linebacker who had won the 2010 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year honors. Burfict entered the starting lineup at weak-side linebacker in Week 3 and finished the season with a team-high 127 tackles. That effort helped Burfict earn a league-high $299,465 under the NFL's performance-based pay program designed to compensate lesser-salaried players based upon playing time. "I'm proud but never satisfied," said Burfict, 22. "I'm looking to improve the things I didn't do good last year. I was pretty good at run-stopping. This year, I'll be good in coverage and do a better job rotating my hips and pretty much be a better football player overall. "Last year I'm happy about, but nobody remembers last year. I'm focused on this year now." Burfict, though, was willing to offer advice to those incoming rookies who won't have their names called from the podium at Radio City Music Hall. "It doesn't matter if you're the first pick, the last pick or undrafted," Burfict said. "You're still a rookie at the end of the day. You're still able to go in with your chin up ready to go if your number is called. Just do all the little things right and you'll be alright."

2013 NFL Draft: 7 Round Mock Draft for the Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals are coming off two straight playoff seasons and are looking to remain a playoff team in 2013. Andy Dalton and A.J Green were both hits in the 2011 NFL Draft and have been the key reason why the Bengals have been to the playoffs. Both look to remain on a role heading into 2013 but both times in the playoffs they have lost to the Houston Texans. In this mock...

2013 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals Scoop Up Tyler Eifert

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Behind the draft scenes, Bengals have grown

The Bengals were the butt of jokes, snickers and sneers for years in and around the NFL for the way they scouted and drafted players. Assistant coaches handled the brunt of the evaluation duties, starting immediately after the end of the playing season with some advance scouting having been done but not to the degree other teams performed. This was one of the areas of culture that...

Harrison ready to continue winning ways

CINCINNATI James Harrison doesnt consider himself to be the missing piece to the Bengals. As a player who has played in three Super Bowls, been a part of winning two NFL championships and is a former NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Harrison has the credentials to speak of what is missing. I dont really think its a piece, its more consistency. Being more consistent. Ill leave...

Harrison signed, Bengals look for depth

Linebacker James Harrison has signed his two-year deal with Cincinnati, giving the Bengals a proven playmaker in one of their areas of concern heading into the NFL draft. Now, it becomes more about picking players who will provide depth on a team returning intact from a playoff season. The Bengals have spent lots of money in the offseason retaining players from a 10-6 team that...

Again healthy, James Harrison has ‘three years left’ as a member of the Cincinnati Bengals

Shelved on eight occasions over the past two seasons due to various injuries, Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison is healthy and has “three years left” playing in the NFL. Clipped by the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, the 34-year-old Harrison finally agreed with Cincinnati to a two-year contract on Friday. Despite going 10-6 and qualifying for the playoffs in consecutive...

James Harrison New Contract With Bengals Totals Out At $4.45 Million Max

The details of the contract signed by former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison with the Cincinnati Bengals is in and the two-year deal maxes out at $4.45 million and included a $1.2 million signing bonus. The former Defensive Player of the Year will earn base salaries in 2013 and 2014 of $1.4 million and $1.1 million respectively and the deal also includes roster bonuses...

Kyle Larson Toyota Care 250 Race Preview

Back On Track: After enjoying a weekend off, the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) heads to Richmond International Raceway for a 250-lap shootout at the 0.75-mile D-shaped oval. Rookie of the Year contender Kyle Larson has one previous start at RIR, starting second and finishing fourth in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East’s (NKNPSE) visit to the track last season. The 2012 race is...

Looking back at Marvin Lewis' draft history

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Breaking down James Harrison's $4.45 million deal: $1.2 million signing bonus

Hot News for OLB James Harrison

Defensive depth prime Bengals' draft concern

The national holiday that is the NFL Draft is upon us this week, a three-day festival celebrating footballs future booms and busts beginning on Thursday evening. The Bengals have the 21st overall pick in the first round and will start with a total of 10 picks in the seven rounds, including two each in Rounds 2, 6 and 7. Coming off of consecutive playoff seasons, the Bengals dont...

Steelers Fans Shouldn’t Hate James Harrison, Just The Business Decision That He Made

All throughout the offseason I speculated that if linebacker James Harrison wanted to remain a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers that he would have to take $3 million in 2013. As it turns out, that is exactly the amount that he stands to pocket with the Cincinnati Bengals this upcoming season if he plays in all 16 games for them. Following the March release of the former Defensive...

Cincinnati Bengals: Don't Over-think This Draft

Let us just jump into the meat and potatoes of what I would want from the Bengals' draft.  Priority No. 1 would be to get away from Andy Dalton, but I understand we won't be doing that so I'd focus on West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin.  Now I won't go all Mike Ditka and give up my whole draft for him but he is my favorite player in the draft.  I would trade...

The Cincinnati Bengals often overthink the draft please not again

Let us just jump into the meat and potatoes of what I would want from the Bengals' draft.  Priority No. 1 would be to get away from Andy Dalton, but I understand we won't be doing that so I'd focus on West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin.  Now I won't go all Mike Ditka and give up my whole draft for him but he is my favorite player in the draft.  I would trade...

Bengals Draft Preview

  It’s like Christmas in April. Yes, I love the NFL Draft far more than the average human should. The 2013 version of the draft kicks off Thursday with the first round. Rounds 2-3 will follow on Friday and the proceedings will conclude on Saturday with rounds 4-7. (Is this a good time to mention I like the relatively-new format that the NFL uses? It’s better than doing...
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