As the 2014 NFL preseason enters its final two weeks, the Cincinnati Bengals have locked up one of their most exciting young players, linebacker Vontaze Burfict, to a multi-year contract extension. Among the first to report on the deal, Adam Schefter tweeted that the Bengals and Burfict have a greed to a four-year, $20-million extension:
LB Vontaze Burfict’s extension with Bengals is a four-year, $20 million deal, including $7.6 million this year.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 20, 2014
Burfict has been a revelation for the Bengals after signing as a collegiate free agent out of Arizona State after the 2012 NFL Draft. He led Cincinnati in tackles in both 2012 and 2013 and landed a Pro-Bowl spot as a weakside linebacker last season. He is part of a young Bengals’ defense that has shown flashes of dominance, finishing fifth in the NFL in points allowed per game and third in yards allowed in 2013.
Various sources reported at the beginning of training camp last month that negotiations between Burfict and the team had been tabled, but that may have just happened to give the Bengals some time and room to work on quarterback Andy Dalton’s deal, signed less than a week later.
Burfict and the Bengals will travel to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday before wrapping up their preseason schedule against the Indianapolis Colts at home on August 28.
The Bengals will open the 2014 regular season on September 7 on the road against the Baltimore Ravens.