With Vontaze Burfict receiving a season-long suspension following his hit on Sunday, it’s important to look back on the events that brought both Burfict and the NFL to this point.
Jan. 9, 2016:
Burfict earned a suspension of three games after the monstrous shoulder-to-helmet hit he delivered to Antonio Brown. This hit is one of the most egregious in NFL history, especially in the era of player safety.
Aug. 19, 2017:
Burfict would get suspended due to a hit on the Kansas City Chiefs’ Anthony Sherman in a preseason game. In some ways, this hit was worse than the Brown hit since Sherman wasn’t involved in the play and Antonio was at least receiver going after the ball.
The NFL handed out a five-game suspension for this hit, but it was later reduced to three games upon appeal. For both this hit and the Brown hit, I felt a four-game suspension was necessary, especially to set the tone.
Nov. 12, 2017:
Burfict was ejected after being charged for a second personal foul against the Tennessee Titans. His second foul was for making contact with an official, disqualifying from the game.
The NFL wouldn’t suspend him though. I would have, not because of the on-field play, but how he made money signs and played to the crowd as he left the playing area. The lack of remorse on top of the ejection would have gotten a two-game suspension from me to send a message about not hurting the image of the sport by showboating after being ejected.
April 12, 2017:
This time, Burfict was found with performance enhancement drugs in his system, earning him a four-game suspension from the league. I’ll keep uniform here and also hand out a four-game suspension because it’s in-line with the rules.
It’s worth noting that if I had my way that by this point Vontaze would have been suspended for a full 16 games by me for all of his offensives combined.
Sept. 29, 2019:
The hit that was put on Jack Doyle was in some ways worse than the one that paralyzed Darryl Stingley. That hit wasn’t helmet-to-helmet. This hit was something that has no place in any sport.
Burfict has no place in sports and is a dirty player of the highest caliber. Then, when he walks off the field, he blows kisses to the crowd. He has no remorse and if I had my way, he would be banned from the league. He’s had chance after chance to change how he plays but elects not to. The NFL has given him a one-year suspension but make a statement with this and ban him for life and fix one of their many public relations nightmares.