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

  • Fantasy Forecast: Week 5

    By James Morris - Posted 2 hours ago

    We’re now a quarter of the way through the NFL season and we are starting to get an idea of who the studs and duds are, who the sleepers were, and who never woke up from their off-season nap.

  • Lewis, Dalton news conference transcripts

    Posted 12 hours ago

    Marvin Lewis & Andy Dalton news conference transcripts 10/01/2014

    Views: 190
  • Notes and quotes

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted 14 hours ago

    Don't call Wallace Gilberry a savvy veteran....Forget the '75 Series. Paul Guenther is ready to play this one anywhere at any time and that includes Fenway Park at midnight... Bill Belichick spent a lot of time talking to Jim Brown about Paul Brown...

    Views: 1,227
  • Power vote

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted 16 hours ago

    The Bengals are at the top or right near it of everyone’s NFL power rankings this week, but maybe the biggest endorsement of all comes from future Hall-of-Fame coach Bill Belichick. Even if taken with a grain of salt.

    Views: 2,022
  • Notes: Cautious Bengals eye wounded Pats; Tez, Marvin Jones (ankle) sit Wednesday

    By Geoff Hobson - Posted 20 hours ago

    The Bengals aren’t buying that this is the end of King Bill I and Crown Prince Brady as the Patriots dynasty dissolves into the ashes of their offensive line or any of the other emerging narratives.

    Views: 7,887

Recent Videos