News

Print
RSS

Rags to riches

Posted Aug 20, 2014

With multiple media reports bannering an extension for Vontaze Burfict, the Bengals continue their tradition of using the preseason as their March Madness for free agency.

According to multiple media reports, No. 55 is a big number.


Vontaze Burfict has now officially gone from rags to riches.

Tossed $1,000 for signing with the Bengals as an undrafted free agent two years ago, Burfict is now set to get what is believed to be $10 million in the next six months after agreeing to a four-year extension that keeps him at the helm of the Cincinnati defense through 2017.

Indications are the deal, which has been announced by ESPN and NFL.com but not confirmed by the Bengals, is to be signed and announced Thursday since Burfict was sent home sick after Wednesday morning’s walk through. The Bengals don’t comment on contracts until they are signed.

The Bengals have turned the preseason into their own version of the NFL’s March Madness of free agency, except they’ve signed their own players to the mega deals that greet free agents when the league year starts in March. Two weeks ago the Bengals extended quarterback Andy Dalton for six years in a deal that gives him $25 million over the next two years.

Just before the start of training camp in July of 2013, the Bengals inked defensive end Carlos Dunlap on a five-year, $40 million extension that netted him $18.7 million over the last year. Then last Labor Day on the eve of the season they secured two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins in a $55 million extension that gave him $36 million over the next three years.

It’s believed the Burfict deal has put the Bengals over the $133 million salary cap for 2014 and has begun to nibble at their $8 million carryover for 2015. But that won’t stop them from trying to extend three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green before the start of next season, they've said. They’ve already exercised their fifth-year option and are committed to pay Green $10.5 million in 2015.

The latest deal got announced two years early since Burfict was heading into final season of his rookie three-year contract paying him the minimum and the Bengals were prepared to drop the biggest restricted free agent tender to bring him back in 2015.

But in becoming the emotional leader of the NFL’s No. 3 defense while becoming the league’s leading tackler, Burfict had clearly outplayed that original contract calling for him to make a little more than half a million this year. The Bengals apparently came up with a two-year extension average believed to be about $8 million, which, according to spotrac.com, is a number that puts Burfict in the top seven of the NFL’s highest paid inside linebackers . But he got it a lot quicker than the Rams' James Laurinaitis ($8.3 million average) and Arizona's Daryl Washington ($8 million). He's heading into just his third season  and won’t turn 24 for 35 more days. Plus, he'll get a shot for a third contract before turning 27, ideal for a linebacker.

ESPN called it a four-year deal at $20 million and said he gets $7.6 million this year.

 

Recent Articles

  • Hobson's Choice: Combine-ing efforts

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Feb 17, 2017

    How much will health and wellness impact the draft, Bengaldom wonders. From all reports running back Giovani Bernard is having a terrific rehab from an ACL tear.

  • Where there is a Will, there is a Hall

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Feb 15, 2017

    If Ken Anderson is the no-brainer as the Bengals’ best senior Pro Football Hall of Fame candidate (followed closely by Ken Riley), then Willie Anderson as the best right tackle of his time takes his rightful claim as the club’s best modern day Hall of Fame candidate.

  • Bengals give CB Benwikere fresh start

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Feb 14, 2017

  • Bengals Host Event for Local Athletic Officials

    Posted Feb 14, 2017

    The InSideOut Initiative, in partnership with the Bengals, the NFL Foundation and the Ohio High School Athletic Association, hosted an event for local school athletic officials at Paul Brown Stadium on Tuesday.

  • Happy Birthday case

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Feb 14, 2017

    Ken Anderson, the Bengals all-time leading passer, turns 68 later this week on Wednesday and in what has become an annual rite of the Ides of February we honor his birthday building his case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame with ten stats. Some you’ve seen. Some you haven’t. They come 10 days after Kurt Warner became the 26th quarterback voted into the Hall of Fame.

Photos