It hasn’t been a great week for Vontaze Burfict. The Oakland Raiders linebacker got suspended for the entire 2019 season because of a hit made on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle. He tried to appeal to see if he could get the suspension reduced, but he lost as it was upheld.
He goes from being the starting middle linebacker and captain of the defense to watching games at home with no contract heading into 2020. To add insult to injury, there’s now an NFL legend who is suggesting that Burfict may need to “be evaluated.”
Ed Reed Calls out Raiders’ Vontaze Burfict
Former Baltimore Raven, Ed Reed, was just recently inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame. Reed hasn’t been much for the spotlight since he retired from playing. He was briefly on Rex Ryan’s coaching staff for the Buffalo Bills back in 2016, but it didn’t last more than one season. Reed had a chance to chat with TMZ while he was at LAX and made some bold statements about Vontaze Burfict.
“He put himself in that situation,” said Reed when asked if Burfict was getting a “raw deal” for the suspension. “He put himself in that situation, after all the years of everything he’s done.
“[The NFL] ain’t going to tolerate someone who’s playing bad like that… I wouldn’t.”
Reed also said that Burfict “had it coming” and also suggested that he could be suffering from some kind of mental ailment.
“After all the years … dude actually needs to be evaluated,” Reed said about Burfict. “I think he needs to be evaluated for playing like that.”
He went on to talk about the dangers of playing football.
“What they need to do is put it in the contract … that tells people, tells kids, tells players what can happen if you play football.”
“It’s a violent sport, you can die from playing this sport. You can get concussions, you can have CTE, you can be paralyzed. They need to put that in the contracts and let people know that.”
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Is Vontaze Burfict Done in the NFL?
Regardless of the issues Burfict has been a part of during his career, he may be done in the NFL. The Raiders like him, but they can’t risk going into the 2020 season with a starting middle linebacker who is one ugly hit away from a potential lifetime ban.
The NFL is obviously not going to take it easy on Burfict if he slips up again. Oakland isn’t tied to him past this season, so it’s probably best they move on. The coaches and his teammates seem to like him, hence why they defended him during his appeal. Unfortunately, it may just be the smarter football move to not bring him back in 2020.