The Raiders have the perfect opportunity to grab a top-notch linebacker in free agency as Cincinnati releases the talented but maligned former Bengals linebacker.
Despite my relatively young age, I’m sort of an old fashioned dude.
I was brought up mostly by my grandmother who didn’t have any trouble giving me the belt. I learned the hard way a lot when I was coming up and it toughened me up for my historically black college experience and the rough paces of the medical field.
So excuse me while I step back and marvel at the way Raider Nation has become soft.
When the news broke today that Burfict had been released by the Bengals, I cheered inside. The Raiders, in dire need of help on defense, and for some guys who have a pair, is the perfect fit for the nasty outside badass. The 28-year old veteran did get suspended four games last year due to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drugs and has been the league’s most fined player since 2012 amassing almost $500,ooo in fines since that time.
So, yes, Burfict has baggage and a bad temper. Since when does that not equal the perfect fit for Raider Nation?
A scan of social media channels today (which I do perhaps once a week as I’m a self-admitted social media Luddite) shows a plethora of Raiders tweets decrying even the thought of Burfict in the silver and black. This from the same fanbase which cheered unequivocally when the team traded for Antonio Brown? You know, the guy who quit on his team. Don’t get me wrong: I love Brown. Yet this new, softer, gentler Raider Nation has me rethinking things.
The team and fans who once cheered The Assassin, Tooz, Foo, and Ted Hendricks is down on a nasty player with a chip on his shoulder? You can’t be serious.
Burfict isn’t perfect – this is true. Is it a risk signing him? You bet it is. Yet the team is also reportedly interested in former Chargers/Saints linebacker Manti Te’o (insert fake girlfriend joke here) and former 49ers/Bears linebacker Aaron Lynch. Now, maybe they’re worth a look but none of them have the talent – and mean streak – Burfict possess. They’re simply not in the same league.
On the day Vontaze Burfict is released and available, worth noting: The #Raiders are already doing work on LBs, hosting FAs Manti Teo and Aaron Lynch, source said. Oakland may have interest in Burfict, too.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 18, 2019
Burfict has two years remaining on his current deal which paid him $38 million. The Raiders have the cash and have the need and Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther is his former Bengals coach. It just makes all the sense in the world – except for that new breed of Raiders fan that wants Forrest Gump and not a mean son-of-a-bitch.
Burfict also fits the veteran mold Jon Gruden still loves. Although I believe the Raiders need to draft defense and buy offense (See AB), this is one more exception. They need two drafts to build the defense and Burfict can make you better now.
This guy was made to be a Raider. The team could use his talent and his personality.
To those who don’t think he’s worth the risk, I’m at a loss for words Y’all.