12-game suspension likely ends Vontaze Burfict's career




  • In Sports
  • 2019-10-10 17:04:40Z
  • By ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
 

The NFL got what it wanted. And what it ultimately got was the end, as a practical matter, of linebacker Vontaze Burfict's career.

Right or wrong (and most will say "right"), the 12-game suspension for his latest violation of on-field safety rules will make most if not all teams shy away from Burfict in 2020. The reasoning is simple: With another illegal hit of any kind, Burfict once again will be banned for the balance of the season in which it happens.

And it's very easy to deliver an illegal hit, even without any malicious intent. Whether it's a blow to the head or neck of a defenseless player, roughing the passer, or lowering the helmet to initiate contact with an opponent, illegal hits happen all the time. Who would entrust months of preparation and a 53-man roster spot to a guy who is one mistake away from being gone for the season?

It's nevertheless amazing that hearing officer Derrick Brooks upheld the 12-game banishment. The league's disciplinary process for on-field violations is supposed to be progressive, and gradual. Burfict had never been suspended more than three games at one time for illegal hits. To rocket from three to 12 is unprecedented; indeed, the longest suspension any player has previously served (five games) arose from a post-whistle criminal assault in the form of a cleat to the forehead.

But Brooks, an "independent" hearing officer, nevertheless affirmed the suspension. As mentioned in connection with the Antonio Brown helmet grievance, the fact that an independent decision-maker must periodically be reappointed by both the league and the union requires the decision-maker to be sensitive to the reality that, in some situations, one side will desire a specific outcome much more strongly than the other. In this case, the NFL didn't impose 12 games to send a message, as a source with knowledge of the situation previously explained it to PFT; the league badly wanted him off the field for the rest of the year. The NFL Players Association quite likely didn't have the same zeal to reduce the suspension, especially since Burfict's unsafe tactics undermine the health and safety of other union members.

While it can't be ruled out that a team like the Raiders would bring Burfict back next year as an act of defiance, it would be stupid to do so. Chances are that Burfict will apply another illegal hit. Chances are that, when he does, he'll be gone for the rest of the year all over again.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Brees
Brees' anthem comments draw backlash from teammates, others

Drew Brees was criticized sharply by fellow high-profile athletes including some of his own teammates on Wednesday after the Saints' quarterback reiterated his opposition to kneeling during the National Anthem. In an interview with Yahoo, Brees was asked to revisit former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's 2016 protest against police brutality against minorities, in which Kaepernick knelt during the National Anthem before games.

Broncos coach apologizes after suggesting NFL free of racism
Broncos coach apologizes after suggesting NFL free of racism

Denver Broncos coach Vic Fangio is apologizing for suggesting discrimination and racism aren't problems in the NFL. "While I have never personally experienced those terrible things first-hand during my 33 years in the NFL, I understand that many players, coaches and staff have different perspectives," Fangio added.

Ian Williams rips Drew Brees for
Ian Williams rips Drew Brees for 'sickening' answer on NFL players kneeling

Ian Williams was disgusted with Drew Brees' continued lack of support for NFL players taking a knee in protest.

Carroll: We owe
Carroll: We owe 'tremendous amount' to Kaepernick

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said it took too long for the NFL to recognize Colin Kaepernick taking a stand when he took a knee during the national anthem. Kerr, who has been an outspoken activist on issues of national interest, agreed wholeheartedly.

Broncos coach Fangio labelled a
Broncos coach Fangio labelled a 'joke' after saying there is no racism in NFL

* 'We're a league of meritocracy, you earn what you get' * Several black players hit back at Fangio over claimsThe Denver Broncos head coach, Vic Fangio, has faced a backlash from players after saying he does not see racism as a problem in the NFL.Fangio, who has coached in the league since 1986, was asked about racism in the NFL in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd."I think our problems in the NFL along those lines are minimal," said the 61-year-old. "We're a league of meritocracy, you earn what you get, you get what you earn. I don't see racism at all in the NFL, I don't see discrimination in the NFL. We all live together, joined as one, for one common goal, and we all...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Sports