Now a free agent, linebacker Vontaze Burfict played just four games for the Raiders in 2019 before he was suspended. Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Last month, the NFL “quietly” reinstated Vontaze Burfict from suspension, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter) reports. Burfict was barred from playing in the last 12 games of the 2019 season, but he’s been given the greenlight to play in 2020. 

Burfict has racked up an inordinate number of suspensions and fines throughout his career for safety violations. His most recent — a Week 4 leveling of Colts tight end Jack Doyle — brought down the hammer.

Burfict’s reputation allowed Jon Gruden and Co. to add him on the cheap — a one-year, $1.15M deal. Now, he’ll hit the free-agent market after working to clean up his playing style, Pelissero hears.

The linebacker’s ban marked the longest suspension in league history for an on-field incident. Myles Garrett was served with an “indefinite” suspension last year for his actions against the Steelers, but that amounted to a six-game suspension that was recently lifted.

Burfict’s controversial and dangerous style of play made him one of the league’s most feared players during his time with the Bengals. He was also frequently sidelined by suspensions. Burfict’s only complete 16-game seasons came in his first two years in the NFL. In Year 2, he earned a Pro Bowl nod as he led the league with 171 stops and tallied one interception, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and three sacks.

At this stage, it’s not clear what kind of market Burfict will find. He’ll turn 30 in September, and, despite his talent, teams will have to think long and hard about adding him to the mix.

This article first appeared on Pro Football Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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