The Cincinnati Bengals made it official, announcing their four-year, $20 million contract extension for Pro Bowl linebacker Vontaze Burfict.
Burfict led the NFL last season with 204 tackles.
“Vontaze is a special talent; he has shown us that from his first day here,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “He is a load physically (6-1, 255) and he’s extremely competitive, but what really makes him stand out is the instinct and feel he has for the game. It’s something born in him, you can’t coach a player to naturally react the way he does in all situations. This signing is a great move for the future of our defense.”
Burfict had eight tackles for losses and three sacks last season with one forced fumble.
“It’s great to have this deal done and know I’m going to be here beyond this season,” Burfict said. “We can have a great defense again this year, even better than the last couple years.”
“It’s unusual to sign a player this early in his career to a contract extension, but Vontaze is a player who merits this,” Bengals executive vice-president and chief negotiator Katie Blackburn said. “He has proven to be an exceptional find for us, and we are happy to reward him now for his accomplishments. It’s good for him and good for our team.”
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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun