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Vontaze Burfict fined $25K for ankle-twisting incidents

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The NFL decided the best course of action to discipline Vontaze Burfict is a fine -- for now, anyway.

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday, via a league source, that Burfict will be fined $25,000 for twisting the ankles of both Cam Newton and Greg Olsen during the Cincinnati Bengals' 37-37 tie with the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. Rapoport reported a suspension may be next if Burfict's behavior continues.

"He's got to continue to play within the rules," coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday. "And he got called for a penalty last week that was, again, not necessarily a penalty. ... Football's changing, and we're trying to really coach the head out of football. And that's been the mission of the league for the last two or three years, and that continues daily. And we've got to do that, we're teaching young guys new habits ... Sometimes when that ball goes in the air it's difficult to do all the time."

Earlier in the week, Olsen called on the league to suspend Burfict for his actions.

"I think instances like that," Olsen said, via Bill Voth of Black and Blue Review, "that are so clearly premeditated that he had in his mind if those opportunities, that he was going to try to attack not only guys' legs, but guys who were coming off ankle problems specifically, there's no room for it."

Olsen was referencing Cam Newton, who had ankle surgery in the offseason.

"I think the punishment needs to go beyond a fine," Olsen continued. "Guys like that don't learn from that stuff. He's been fined a hundred times for head hunting, and he did it to Kelvin (Benjamin) again. You watch the film, that's just what he is."

Burfict has officially put himself on the radar of both opponents and the league office. Meanwhile, expect to hear from some Panthers players who believe Burfict got off easy for his misdeeds.

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