The NFL on Wednesday upheld Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s season-long suspension for a helmet-to-helmet hit on an Indianapolis Colts receiver nearly two weeks ago.
Burfict’s suspension is the longest-ever for an on-field incident. He will miss the rest of the Raiders’ season as well as any playoff games should Oakland get to that point later in the year.
VONTAZE BURFICT BEING SINGLED OUT BY NFL WITH SEASON-LONG SUSPENSION, RAIDERS LINEBACKER’S AGENT SAYS
Football Hall of Famer Derrick Brooks was the NFL’s appeals officer in the case. He sided with the NFL’s vice president of football operations Jon Runyan that the hit was “unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided.”
“There were no mitigating circumstances on this play,” Runyan wrote in the letter to Burfict. “Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game.
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Runyan continued: “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 designated to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.
“Your extensive history of rules violations is factored into this decision regarding accountability measures.”
The veteran has racked up more than $4 million in fines and has been suspended 10 times due to the apparent headhunting on the field. The penalties came when he was with the Cincinnati Bengals.
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The Raiders signed Burfict to a one-year, $2 million contract in the offseason. It included a $300,000 signing bonus and $300,000 in guaranteed money, according to Spotrac.