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

  • Seeking The Moment

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Jul 2, 2015

    Views: 5,834
  • Hobson's Choice: D-line nostalgia from 2012-13

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Jun 30, 2015

    The re-signing of Michael Johnson gives the Bengals virtually the same cast of characters they had in the Who Dey heyday of a few years ago.

    Views: 12,703
  • No surprise: P.B. still strong

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Jun 29, 2015

    It's been 40 years since Paul Brown last coached a game. But his one and only strength coach, Kim Wood, shows how his old boss has never gone out of style.

    Views: 6,335
  • Timeout, courtesy of MJ

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Jun 26, 2015

    Now a timeout from all the hate and the madness. Time for a few snaps of charity and a couple of downs of hope from Bengals right end Michael Johnson as he continues his rush to make a difference. So step right into the Michael D. Johnson Technology Center in his hometown of Selma, Ala.

    Views: 5,035
  • Numbers game marks the spot

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted Jun 25, 2015

    From 1 to slightly more than 1,000 in a numbers game gone wild as we offer Bengaldom a rash of digits to peruse for the upcoming season. Andy Dalton eyes Johnny Unitas, A.J. Green chases down Isaac Curtis, Leon Hall tries to jump over Leapin’ Lemar Parrish, and Andrew Whitworth and Domata Peko (above) close in on the ironmen.

    Views: 2,860

Recent Videos