Bengals make big moves on both sides of the ball


The Bengals went from one of the most fascinating figures in their history Monday afternoon, when they terminated the contract of the former Vontaze Burfict linebacker of the Pro Bowl, which went from 39, a $ 1,000 bet as an open free agent with two long-term contracts totaling approximately $ 50 million for seven seasons in Cincinnati.

The first major movement of the Zac Taylor era was a day of contrast at the Paul Brown Stadium, which began when the Bengals signed the tight Tyler Eifert deal for a one year contract in the morning, anticipating two of the biggest scenarios of its kind. the Green-Dalton era. Burfict and Eifert, who will be 29 years old at sixteen years late in sixteen days in September, struggled to stay on the field after their decisive season in the Pro Bowl.

For Burfict, instinctive and knowledgeable, he was in his second season in 2013 when he led the NFL in tackling while helping the Bengals win the AFC North title and third in the defensive rankings of the league. For wide wide receiver Eifert, who was back in 2015, he captured 13 touchdown passes in 13 games, helping the Bengals start 8-0 en route to their best 12-4 record.

But suspension and injuries ranging from a series of concussions to a knee problem that required risky surgical microsurgery have limited Burfict to 37 of 80 games since. Eifert has experienced a series of unreal health problems that he describes as "whimsical". Since the 2015 Pro Bowl, he has ripped ankle tendons and has played 14 of 48 games since that day in Honolulu.

"As we continue to strengthen our lineup for the 2019 season, we thought it best to give the team and Vontaze a fresh start," Taylor said in a press release. "Vontaze has been a good player here – the team enjoys it, and I know a lot of fans appreciate it – but we are focused on the future. Our goal is to build a strong team for the coming season, and we thought this change was now better for everyone. "

The Burfict initiative is Taylor's first foray into resolving the main defense problem, a second of the linebackers' bodies after an injury in the past two seasons. They will line up with Preston Brown in the middle and Nick Vigil at SAM, but they need a will and backups. With 11 selections, at least two personalities are considered linebackers and have walked the market of independent players for young guys who can run. They have two potential supporters of the last two WILL projects likely to move into Malik Jefferson, third in 2018, and Jordan Evans of the sixth, in 2017, players whom they hope they will be able to become more consistent.

In good health, Burfict was the leader of the defense, with emotion and as a caller. The heirs of this role are Preston Brown and security companies Shawn Williams and Jessie Bates.

Burfict may have played the best all-time match for a Bengals linebacker in the 2015 Wild Card Game against Pittsburgh, when he appeared to place the Bengals in the playoffs for the first time in two decades with his interception with a remainder at 1:32 and the Steelers down, 16-15.

But the defense had to return to the field nine seconds later after Jeremy Hill tackled the game, staging the most controversial game in Burfict's controversial career. When he hit wide receiver Antonio Brown over center, he was known to have touched a defenseless catcher and put the Steelers in the forefront. He was also fined and suspended for the game, thereby initiating a skein that forced him to suspend the suspension of the NFL three of the following four seasons, twice for violating the NFL's security code. player in a battle going on with the league office which cost him about $ 4 million. in fines and suspensions.

The only enemy of Eifert is the training room. Even before 2015, his career was rife. Nine come into play for the first game of 2014, he suffered a grotesquely dislocated elbow and ending the season. But for the second year in a row, the Bengals signed it on Monday for a one-year contract with bonuses. While Burfict struggled to acclimate last season after missing the first four games due to a violation of the DEP policy before a seventh concussion ended his season after just seven games, Eifert helped the Bengals take a 3-1 start before being unpacked. ankle and finished his season in the fourth game.

After watching the Bengals' offensive win all three games with at least 34 points, the latter and the new staff felt his presence was well worth another chance. Similarly, Eifert, who admitted at Monday's conference call with the Cincinnati press that he was about to leave, until the country's free agency gets up last week and begins to think to certain offers.

"I like it here. I appreciate the guys in the locker room. I love the city, "said Eifert. "It has become a priority to try to stay. I have had more opportunities (than last year to leave). It was a little slow. I guess this is understandable with the way the injuries were. "

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