FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2018, file photo, Cincinnati Bengals outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict walks the field during practice before an NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Cincinnati. The Bengals terminated the contract of Burfict on Monday, March 18, 2019, releasing him to free agency. (AP Photo/Frank Victores, File)

Bengals release oft-suspended LB Vontaze Burfict

March 18, 2019 - 4:43 pm

The Cincinnati Bengals released oft-suspended linebacker Vontaze Burfict on Monday.

Burfict's career was marked more by his behavior than his tackling skills. In his seven years with the Bengals, he was suspended by the NFL to start each of the past three seasons, mostly for egregious hits that violated the league's player safety rules.

His most notable performance might have been when Burfict and Adam "Pacman" Jones got 15-yard penalties in the 2015 playoffs that set up a Steelers field goal with 14 seconds left for an 18-16 win.

Undrafted out of Arizona State, Burfict played in 75 games with 73 starts. He made 684 tackles, had 8½ sacks, five interceptions, 33 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries. He made the 2013 Pro Bowl.

"As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start," new Bengals coach Zac Taylor said. "Vontaze has been a good player here — the team appreciates that, and I know a lot of fans appreciate that — but our focus is on the future."

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