Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a five-game suspension for an illegal hit against Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman this month, league sources tell ESPN.
Burfict – a repeat offender – hit a running back in a defenseless posture, per sources. It is a new rule the NFL is implementing this season to protect the player who can’t protect himself – and it is going to hurt Burfict and the Bengals.
— Craig Gates (@CraigGates) August 19, 2017
Burfict is appealing, per sources.
His suspension, if it stands, will cost Burfict $882,353 in lost base-salary game checks. Burfict is entering the last year of his contract and is scheduled to become a free agent after this season.
Burfict has a hearing next week with the NFL, per sources.
But Burfict is no stranger to trouble. He was suspended the first three games of the 2016 season for numerous violations of player safety rules, including an illegal hit on Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown during the 2015 playoffs.
During his five year NFL career, Burfict also has been fined almost $800,000 and been flagged 16 times for unnecessary roughness, personal fouls or roughing the passer. The lost wages here would more than double that total.
After Burfict’s latest questionable preseason hit, the league office now is taking action against him again.
If the suspension holds, Burfict would miss games against the Ravens, Texans, Packers, Browns and Bills.