Bengals releasing Vontaze Burfict after seven seasons

The team announced Monday that they've released the veteran linebacker.

Burfict's suspension-filled run in Cincy ends after seven seasons. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added the team shopped the linebacker before ultimately cutting the veteran.

"As we continue to build our roster for the 2019 season, we felt it best to give both the team and Vontaze a fresh start," said Bengals head coach Zac Taylor in a statement. "Vontaze has been a good player here -- the team appreciates that, and I know a lot of fans appreciate that -- but our focus is on the future. Our goal is to build a successful team for the upcoming season, and we felt that making this change now was best for everyone."

A staple of the Marvin Lewis era, Burfict brought bone-crushing talent to the middle of the Bengals defense. Ultimately, the team couldn't trust the linebacker to toe the line and remain healthy. Burfict hasn't appeared in more than 11 games in any season since 2013 due to suspensions and injury.

After serving a four-game suspension to open the 2018 campaign (his third straight year suspended to start a season), Burfict dealt with hip and concussion issues that relegated him to seven games. When on the field, the linebackers' play noticeably slipped. With his play on the downturn, the laundry list of fines and suspension finally outweighed his usefulness to the new coaching staff in Cincinnati.

Turning 29 years old in September, Burfict's best days are behind him but he could land with an organization that wouldn't mind employing a former enforcer in the middle.

Cutting Burfict saves the Bengals $5.69 million in salary cap space, per Pelissero.

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