Vontaze Burfict reinstated after 12-game suspension

The NFL reinstated linebacker Vontaze Burfict last month, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported on Monday’s edition of NFL Now.

Burfict served a 12-game suspension following his helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle during the 2019 season and repeated violations of the player safety rules while the linebacker was with the Oakland Raiders.

Pelissero added Burfict is set to become an unrestricted free agent this spring.

Burfict is training at his alma mater, Arizona State, where his former Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis is serving as a co-defensive coordinator.

Burfict’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told Pelissero the linebacker has spent the offseason watching tape and speaking to coaches, league executives and additional experts about proper code of conduct.

"He is serious, Shaffer said, about coming back and doing things the right way," he added.

The suspension is Burfict’s fourth during his NFL career, and the third time he’s been hit with a ban for on-field incidents. In 2016, Burfict was suspended three games for multiple violations of player safety rules. In 2017, the linebacker was suspended five games for a hit to a defenseless player, which was reduced to three games upon appeal. In 2018, Burfict missed four games for a violation of the NFL’s PED policy. The linebacker has also been slapped with multiple fines for illegal hits throughout his career.

Free agency begins March 18.

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