There was no doubt Vontaze Burfict would stay with Bengals

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CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 29: Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals prepares to run onto the field prior to the start of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium on September 29, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 29: Vontaze Burfict #55 of the Cincinnati Bengals prepares to run onto the field prior to the start of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Paul Brown Stadium on September 29, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) /
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The Cincinnati Bengals proved how much they value Vontaze Burfict. They signed their much-maligned WILL linebacker to a multi-year deal.

Well, if you thought they were just running a bunch of words, the Cincinnati Bengals proved their loyalty. Vontaze Burfict was signed to a three-year extension that puts him among the highest paid linebackers in the NFL. Per, Bengals.com, the ink will keep Burfict in Cincinnati and reportedly pay their defensive quarterback close to $39 million. The deep pocket move shows how much they value Tez.

If you don’t know who Mr. Burfict is, you’re either not a Bengals fan or oblivious to the NFL altogether. The maligned linebacker will be missing from Cincy’s first three games of the season serving a suspension. The original punishment called for five games. But, the amount was reduced after Burfict and the Bengals appealed the ruling.

During the entire ordeal, Marvin Lewis never turned his back on Burfict and stood behind Tez’s claim of the hit being legal. Multiple viewing angles of the hit on Kansas City Chiefs’ Alfred Sherman showed one thing: the hit was bone jarring. But, it looked within the context of the new ruling.

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The NFL has been looking for a poster boy to pin its hat on. The Bengals have a hard-hitting, student of the game who happens to fit the profile. But, in their rush to demonize Burfict, the message they’re sending is confusing. Yes, there have to be guidelines set on what types of hits are deemed legal. Yet, there has to be a sense of entitlement for the defense also.

If the rules continue to morph into different incarnations of what happened with Sherman and Burfict, the league may as well make it flag football. The NFL built their empire on the type of play that Tez is guilty of. But, should that make him a target?

There was no doubt No.55 would stay with the Bengals. Letting him walk would’ve been the equivalent of committing hara-kiri. In fact, he may have been another addition to the New England train that seems to be running through the Queen City.  

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Simply put, Burfict will be terrorizing opponents while wearing Orange & Black for a long time. The first four years have been a blur. Hopefully, this contract will bring in a new era of postseason success and potent defensive units.

Kudos to Mike Brown and the Bengals brain trust for realizing what a talent and force they have in Burfict. In a league which prides itself on confusion and vague interpretations, the Bengals stood firm and showed loyalty still rules.

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