AFC Notes: Burfict, Watt, Howell, Patriots

Typically, when contract agreements are first reported, it takes just a matter of hours before those deals become official. But linebacker Vontaze Burfict, whose extension with the Bengals was reported on Wednesday, has yet to finalize his new contract with the club and has been missing from practice for the last three days with a stomach virus. According to head coach Marvin Lewis, it’s probably just a matter of time until the deal gets formally announced (link via Richard Skinner of

“As you know how we believe it here, until the club and the player have signed off, it’s not signed off,” Lewis said. “I would guess we expect him to sign. Obviously the agent believes he has a deal, so, we didn’t release it.”

As we wait for official word on Burfict’s reported extension, let’s check in on a few other items from out of the AFC….

  • Joel Corry of the National Football Post breaks down the numbers on the Burfict extension, explaining why the Bengals had leverage in negotiations and why the linebacker made out pretty well.
  • In a separate piece for, Corry takes a look at another extension candidate, J.J. Watt, writing that if Watt and the Texans are going to reach an agreement before the season gets underway, it will probably require the star defender – rather than the team – to relent a little.
  • Colts safety Delano Howell has suffered another neck injury, but it shouldn’t be career-ending, according to’s Mike Wells, who says Howell spent part of the week in Minnesota meeting with a specialist.
  • The Patriots would benefit if Isaac Sopoaga earns a spot on the Cardinals’ regular season roster, tweets Field Yates of, noting that the offsets in Sopoaga’s contract would allow New England to free up $855K in cap space.
  • The NFL’s changes to practice squad eligibility criteria mean that a few more Titans are candidates for spots on the squad, writes Paul Kuharsky of I outlined the rules relating to practice squads earlier today.
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