NEW YORK – With his suspension upheld, Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict reportedly met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Thursday to find out what he needs to do to get out of the league's doghouse.
Burfict requested the meeting with Goodell, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis and Burfict's agent, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano.
Burfict met Thursday with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, at Burfict's request, to discuss his behavior and what to do going forward.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) February 11, 2016
Burfict’s three-game suspension was upheld by NFL appeals officer Derrick Brooks, a Hall of Famer and former linebacker himself, Graziano reported. Burfict will have to sit out the first three games next fall at a cost of $502,941 of his 2016 base salary.
The league said the suspension was the result of “repeated violations of safety-related playing rules.” It came after Burfict's helmet hit on Steelers receiver Antonio Brown in the wild card playoff game Jan. 9. His personal foul penalty and a subsequent one by Adam Jones put the Steelers in position to kick the game-winning 35-yard field in the final minute.
NFL Vice President Merton Hanks said Burfict’s hit put Brown at “an unnecessary risk for injury and should have been avoided.”
Burfict was fined four times last season, including $69,454 for three personal fouls against the Steelers on Dec. 13. Those penalties were for roughing the passer, a facemask and unnecessary roughness. He also was fined $50,000 for unnecessarily contacting a Ravens' player who was out of play on Jan. 3.
Burfict has complained that referees are targeting him, but the linebacker came to the NFL with a reputation as an undisciplined player (he wasn't drafted because of that), and his actions haven't done anything to dispute it. While Burfict has been one of the league leaders in tackles, he has also been among the leaders in personal fouls and fines.