Raiders sign linebacker Vontaze Burfict
ALAMEDA, Calif. — Vontaze Burfict, one of the most heavily fined players in the NFL, signed with the Raiders after visiting the facility Tuesday.
Burfict, 28, was released by the Bengals on Monday. His defensive coordinator in Cincinnati was through 2017 was Paul Guenther, who now has the same position for the Raiders.
NFL Media was first to report the transaction, which was confirmed by the Bay Area News Group.
Suspended in each of the last three seasons, Burfict missed the first four games of the season in 2018 for being in violation of the NFL’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Upon his return, Burfict was hampered by a hip injury and concussions, and had only 33 tackles.
.@Raiders signing LB Vontaze Burfict to one-year, $5M deal.
— NFL (@NFL) March 20, 2019
Burfict has lost more than $4 million in wages for suspensions and fines over the course of his career.
Because of either suspensions of injuries, Burfict has missed 37 games over the last five seasons and hasn’t played in all 16 games since 2013. He made the Pro Bowl that season and had a career high 14 tackles.
Burfict was twice fined for personal fouls against Antonio Brown, the Pittsburgh wide receiver traded to the Raiders last week.
Burfict asked about Antonio Brown. Said he hates him. Nah. He obviously said they are on the same team now and that AB is a great player. "It's all positive, man."
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) March 20, 2019
Linebackers who visited the Raiders on Monday, according to NFL Network, included Manti Te’o (New Orleans) and Aaron Lynch (Chicago). Teo played in five games with a knee injury last season. Lynch also played for the 49ers from 2013 through 2017 and last season played in 13 games for the Bears with three starts.
In addition, according to 9News in Denver, the Raiders have expressed interest in linebacker Brandon Marshall, 29, who was released by the Broncos.
Marshall had 63 starts for Denver from 2014 through 2018 and became a free agent when the Broncos declined to pick up his contract.
Since the start of the new league year, the Raiders have acquired Brown by trade, signed tackle Trent Brown and receivers Tyrell Williams and J.J. Nelson. Defensive free agents signed were safety LaMarcus Joyner and defensive end Josh Mauro.
Linebackers currently on the roster include Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow, Kyle Wilbur, Jason Cabinda and Cayson Collins.