Vontaze Burfict is now a linebacker for the Oakland Raiders — a team he was pretty much born to play for.
Burfict, 28, has a long, loooong history of reckless play on the football field and now he gets to suit up in a silver-and-black uniform that has long been synonymous with brutal defense. There’s a potentially awkward part of his signing in Oakland, though. One of Burfict’s new teammates is Antonio Brown, who was traded by the Steelers earlier in March.
There’s a bit of history between the pair. For now, things are all good:
What’s the history between Brown and Burfict?
The closest the Bengals came to winning a playoff game in the last 28 years was on Jan. 9, 2016 when they led 16-15 in the final minute of a wild card game. But then a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit by Burfict on Brown — followed by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Adam Jones — gifted the Steelers 30 yards in penalties and a game-winning field goal. The Bengals went home empty-handed.
It wasn’t the best moment for the Steelers either. Brown was diagnosed with a concussion and forced to sit out Pittsburgh’s 23-16 loss to the Broncos in the Divisional Round.
Burfict was suspended three games for the hit on Brown, and two years later said that the receiver faked his injury.
“He’s an idiot,” Brown told the Dan Patrick Show a month after the hit. “In that situation Burflict and Pacman Jones cost them the game, from the hit to the personal foul, allowed us to make the field goal and advance to the next round.”
When JuJu Smith-Schuster leveled and concussed Burfict in 2017 with a blindside hit that earned the Steelers receiver a one-game suspension, Brown repeatedly yelled “karma!” in the locker room.