Vontaze Burfict joins former rival Antonio Brown with Oakland Raiders



March 19 (UPI) — Former Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict signed with the Oakland Raiders, the team announced Tuesday.

Sources told the NFL Network that Burfict inked a one-year contract worth about $5 million, including incentives.

Burfict visited the Raiders earlier on Tuesday, one day after the Bengals cut the Pro Bowl linebacker. He spent seven seasons with Cincinnati, highlighted by a 2013 season in which he led the NFL with 177 tackles and made the Pro Bowl.

Burfict reunites with former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther, who jumped to the Raiders last year in the same position.

Burfict also joins former division rival and ex-Pittsburgh Steelers wideout Antonio Brown. The Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders this offseason for a third- and fifth-round draft pick.

Brown and Burfict have an extensive history, including multiple illegal hits from the veteran linebacker. Burfict has developed a reputation as one of the NFL’s dirtiest players, accumulating over $400,000 in fines, according to ESPN. His most recent fine came after a Week 6 matchup against the Steelers last season after the NFL determined his hit on Brown should have been flagged for unnecessary roughness.

It was the second time Burfict targeted Brown. In 2016, the Pro Bowl receiver missed a playoff game against the Denver Broncos after Burfict concussed him a week before.

Despite the lengthy history between the players, Burfict and Brown said there isn’t any hard feelings.

“We’re on the same team. It’s one goal. It’s all positive, man,” Burfict told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “He’s a great player. … I’m going to approach him just like I do all my other teammates. … There’s nothing negative here. We’re on the same team. We’re trying to win a championship here.”

“Just talked @King55Tez black and silver baby #RaiderNation #BullySeason,” Brown wrote on Twitter.

Burfict entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the Bengals in 2012. He has appeared in 75 games (73 starts), recording 604 tackles, five interceptions, 28 passes defensed, 8.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Last season, Burfict was limited to seven games due to suspension and injuries. He compiled 33 tackles and three passes defensed.



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