Linebacker Vontaze Burfict is working this offseason to conform his style of play to the NFL’s rules after serving a 12-game suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit, his agent told NFL Network.
“Vontaze has spent the entire offseason studying and learning the proper code of conduct for participation in the NFL. He has watched tape, talked with coaches and NFL experts, doing everything he can to conform his passionate play to the rules of the NFL. This is a serious issue not only for Vontaze but all players, and he is serious about doing things the right way and being a leader in playing football the right way,” agent Peter Schaffer told NFL Network.
Schaffer said his client has been working out at Arizona State, his alma mater.
Burfict, 29, is set to be an unrestricted free agent next month.
Burfict, who played for the Raiders last season, was suspended for a Week 4 hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle. He was ejected from that game for the hit.
The NFL cited his repeated violations of unnecessary roughness rules in handing out the longest suspension ever for an on-field incident.
While with the Cincinnati Bengals, Burfict was repeatedly suspended by the NFL for egregious hits and violating its policy on performance-enhancers. He was fined regularly for hits that crossed the line, most notably the one to Antonio Brown’s head that helped motivate the Steelers to rally for an 18-16 playoff win in the 2015 season. That led to a three-game suspension to start the 2016 season. He also had a five-game suspension reduced to three games for a preseason hit in 2017. He was also fined $112,000 in the 2018 season for hits on Brown and James Conner in a game against Pittsburgh.
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