Raiders’ Vontaze Burfict Facing Season-Long Ban

Vontaze Burfict is facing a season-long suspension for his late-game hit on Colts tight end Jack Doyle, a source tells’s Chris Mortensen (on Twitter). Burfict has a history of player safety violations and the NFL appears poised to send a message.

There were no mitigating circumstances on this play,” NFL V.P. of Football Operations Jon Runyan said in an open letter to Burfict. “Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game. Following each of your previous rule violations, you were warned by me and each of the jointly-appointed appeal officers that future violations would result in escalated accountability measures. However, you have continued to flagrantly abuse rules designed to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk. Your extensive history of rules violations is factored into this decision.”

A suspension was viewed as likely after Burfict’s ejection from the game, but a season-long ban was not necessarily expected. Burfict may fight the suspension, but he’s facing an uphill battle – in seven seasons, Burfict has earned 14 total fines and/or suspensions from the league office, including three times in 2018.

In Sunday’s game against the Colts, Burfict lowered his helmet and rammed it into the helmet of Doyle. It’s an awful look for Burfict, given his checkered past, and a not-so-great look for the Raiders, who made Burfict a captain this offseason.

If Burfict is indeed suspended for the length of the season, it would be the longest ban for an on-field act in league history, according to’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). The previous watermark is believed to belong to Albert Haynesworth, who drew a five-game suspension for stomping on the face of Cowboys center Andre Gurode.

Burfict, 29, has 628 tackles and 8.5 sacks to his credit over the course of seven seasons with the Bengals and 1/4 season with the Raiders. In the Raiders portion, he has tallied 18 total stops.

After beating the Colts 31-24, the Raiders are at the .500 mark as they head into Week 5 against the Bears. They’ll try to advance to 3-2 as they take the field, likely without Burfict.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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30 comments on “Raiders’ Vontaze Burfict Facing Season-Long Ban

  1. korn_cakes33

    Should be a career long suspension. Throw this dirty SOB out of the league

        • unclemike1525

          True Dat. This guy should have been gone a long time ago. Unfortunately, without football, now he’ll probably be arrested soon for public acts of aggression. Just hope he doesn’t move into your neighborhood. Does he own any guns? Shudder to think.

  2. forwhomjoshbelltolls

    Safe to say that the Raiders’ vision of Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict joining together to lead the team back to glory has not come to fruition.

    • Not the Al Davis years, that’s for sure. Under Al Davis, no commissioner would dare threaten Raider Nation with season long suspensions.

      Six games seems in line with current standards but with steady escalation. When is enough enough though?

      • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

        Looking like 14 fines/suspensions in 7 seasons is gonna be enough… 15, of course, when you tally this one…

      • compassrose

        You obviously are talking about the early years because the last 10 years or so the guy needed a diver to find the stadium. He was as Looney as they come. These rules were also not even talked about then. This would have been a typical signing for Al. He would have fit right into the dirty players he loved. In those days it wasn’t dirty it was the way the game was played. Is it better for the game honestly no those big hits were fun to watch. It is better for the players though. Look at some of the old players some can’t put a complete sentence together. Some don’t remember their wife some days. It is sad to see them this way they have a chance to a normal life.

  3. JoeBrady

    As a Raiders’ fan, I agree with the suspension. The dude can still play. But I liked the recent draft because we drafted tough guys, but real FB players. I want the kids to see tough, clean hits, not headhunting on an easy target. Heck, I could’ve made that hit myself.

    • Appalachian_Outlaw

      Raiders fan here too, and I agree with you. I hated this signing since day 1 because I remember him twisting that guy’s ankle on the goal line a few seasons back, and a laundry list of other questionable things this man has done. He was part of that Bengal defense that just awhile back had Pacman Jones, who pulled off Cooper’s helmet, and then proceeded to smash his head into it. And yet somehow they make this dude a captain?!

      I want the Raiders to play physical and aggressive, and to be feared for it. You can’t cross that line though where you’re recklessly trying to hurt people.

  4. JJB0811

    “in seven seasons, Burfict has earned 14 total fines and/or suspensions from the league office, including three times in 2018.” But player safety is paramount, sure it is.

    • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

      The illegal hit he made or the soon-to-be fifteenth penalty doled out by the NFL?

    • Steven Juris

      Not when you have been suspended for illegal hits before it isn’t.

  5. crosseyedlemon

    I wonder if this will prompt the Raiders to ask Aldon Smith to attempt a comeback :)

  6. Ed "The Mythical One"

    Well, that’s just Burfict. (perfect).

    Who didn’t see this coming? You let him play and he spears somebody with his helmet. It was inevitable.

    He needs to be banned for life so that the NFL can protect players from him and protect him from himself. He was hitting people so much with his helmet that he’s given himself concussion problems.

  7. locotrouble

    You all say this stuff but where is the control of the NFL with their own owners? Kraft is still around the NFL and he should be ban for life. You guys want to talk trash about a hard hitting player because he loves the game. What about the dirtiest player that is still playing Suh?

    • Al_Vengenace

      Well said Vontaze Burfict’s girlfriend.

      Don’t look at Burfict’s current incident where he leads head first to crack a downed opponent square in the head, then follows through with his forearm to shove the player’s head into the turf and then after he’s ejected from the game he has a huge smile on his face. Or the other over a dozen times he’s done the same thing.

      Shift focus to an owner and another dirty player. I would say that Burfict is dirtier than Suh just from the number of incidents. That doesn’t excuse either one of them.

  8. HailRodgers12$

    Tomorrow, the Raiders release him and he’s immediately signed by the Patriots, plays 1 game before bellycheck decides it looks bad if they keep him around, and hes released again, and “retires” from the NFL…

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