|Title||All of the offseason|
|Description||The Cincinnati Bengals 2018 season doesn't begin until September Jeff Heath Jersey , but they've already been dealt a major blow. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, star linebacker Vontaze Burfict is facing a four-game suspension for聽violating the league's drug policy:Bengals鈥?LB Vontaze Burfict is facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL鈥檚 Performance-Enhancing Drug policy, pending appeal, league sources tell ESPN. No appeal date yet.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 16, 2018Burfict was also suspended three games in the 2016 season for a series of dirty and dangerous hits. He also got hit with a five-game ban in 2017 (later reduced to three), for a cheap shot during preseason play.And as NFL Network's Ian Rapoport noted, the Bengals have a chance to cut ties with the troubled Burfict:If #Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict loses his appeal of a 4-game suspension, the guarantees in his 3-year, $33M contract will void. That鈥檚 nearly $11.3M. Which means Cincy can move on if they want to.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 16, 2018Though Burfict has been one of the most effective linebackers in the league (being named to the Pro Bowl in 2013 and helping Cincinnati reach the playoffs four times) Darren Fells Jersey , his career has been overshadowed by a series of ugly hits.Burfict's Bengals led the Pittsburgh Steelers 16-15 in the waning seconds of the 2015 AFC Wild Card game. Burfict took 15-yard penalty after smoking receiver Antonio Brown in the head. Adam Jones also took a personal foul penalty for confronting a Steelers coach.That gave Pittsburgh a short field, and Chris Boswell was able to boot the game-winning field goal, while the Bengals fell short of winning their first playoff contest since 1990. Burfict's penalty was indeed a costly one.Burfict, Jones and former Bengal James Harrison are among the notable players on the franchise who've had problems keeping it clean. Despite the issues, the Bengals have constantly relied on head coach Marvin Lewis to get this team's act together, though it's failed time and time again.With Burfict running into yet another suspension, the Bengals may decide they've had enough and release him on the open market. Should that happen, it's tough to guess how many teams will take a chance on Burfict, who can't be relied upon to stay clean. The roster overhaul of the two-time defending AFC West champions began in earnest weeks ago, when the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to trade quarterback Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins. It began for real on Wednesday. That's when the new league year ushered in a flurry of moves that could finally become official Adam Shaheen Jersey , including the blockbuster deal that sent Smith to the Redskins 鈥?where he had already agreed to a new contract 鈥?for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick in this year's draft. "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Alex and what he was able to accomplish with us these past five seasons," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "He put every ounce of energy into making our team better and I appreciate his leadership and how he came to work with the right attitude every day." The Chiefs also made official a trade of two-time Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams for a fourth-round pick this year and a second-round pick next year, and the signings of wide receiver Sammy Watkins and linebacker Anthony Hitchens to fill two of their biggest holes. Among their own free agents, the Chiefs are bringing back fullback and special-teams standout Anthony Sherman and defensive tackle Jarvis Jenkins. They also put a sixth-rounder tender on defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches and non-tendered linebacker Ramik Wilson and cornerback Keith Baxter. The 24-year-old Watkins agreed to a $48 million, three-year deal Tuesday that includes $30 million in guarantees. Watkins spent four injury-filled years with Buffalo before spending last season with the Rams, where he managed to stay healthy enough for the Chiefs to feel comfortable signing him. At his best, Watkins is a potent playmaker with blazing downfield speed, and he should pair nicely with Tyreek Hill to give new quarterback Patrick Mahomes II plenty of options. Throw in the emergence of running back Kareem Hunt, who led the NFL in rushing as a rookie last season, and perennial Pro Bowl tight end Travis Kelce Will Richardson Jersey , and the Chiefs should have one of the AFC's best offenses even after trading their Pro Bowl quarterback to Washington. The 25-year-old Hitchens, who likewise agreed to a $45 million, five-year deal on Tuesday, should fill Derrick Johnson's old spot at middle linebacker alongside Reggie Ragland. Hitchens was a fourth-round pick who exceeded all expectations in Dallas, earning a contract in his first free agency. Earlier this offseason, the Chiefs parted ways with franchise tackles leader Johnson and Tamba Hali, who ranks second only to Derrick Thomas in career sacks. The veteran linebackers were let go along with safety Ron Parker, who had become a critical part of the defensive backfield 鈥?especially when star safety Eric Berry went down with a season-ending injury last year. All of the offseason decisions, including the aggressive trades of Smith and Peters, have served two purposes for new general manager Brett Veach: get younger and save money. The Chiefs' rapidly aging defense was a particular concern last season Eddie Yarbrough Jersey , and bringing Hitchens and Fuller into the mix immediately lowers their average age. Throw in the potential rookies that they net with their new draft picks and the pieces are in place for a massively revamped unit. "After a thorough evaluation of our roster we decided it was in the best interest for us and for Marcus to move in different directions," Veach said of the embattled cornerback, whose immature antics rubbed many the wrong way. "We appreciate Marcus' contributions and wish him the best of luck." Veach also inherited a salary cap mess from former GM John Dorsey, whose unparalleled ability to unearth talent was tempered by a dismal record in signing long-term contracts. The decision to trade Smith was a no-brainer with Mahomes waiting in the wings, as were the decisions to move on from Johnson and Hali, while the trade of Peters was made with an eye toward the future. The money the Chiefs freed up allowed them to aggressively target Watkins and Hitchens, and thus filled two of their most pressing needs the moment free agency began. .|
Please register or log in.