The Cincinnati Bengals are giving one of the centerpieces of their defense a new contract.
Vontaze Burfict signed a three-year contract extension with the Bengals on Thursday, the team announced. The extension pays out $38.68 million and includes a $3.3 million signing bonus, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Burfict also will receive an additional $7 million this season, Rapoport reported.
"Vontaze is still one of the young, emerging talents within the league," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in a statement. "We have worked hard at training, developing and retaining talented players. It's pleasing that Vontaze has made this commitment to be a part of the organization going forward. It was important to reach an extension before the start of the season and we look forward to having Vontaze back with the team in a few weeks."
The extension comes amid a three-game suspension that will keep the standout linebacker off the field for the Bengals until October 1 against the Cleveland Browns in Week 4. His suspension, which stemmed from a hit he put on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman during a preseason game last month, was reduced from five to three games on appeal.
Burfict's on-field value for the Bengals is significant. Over the last two seasons, the Bengals are 10-10 (18.8 points per game allowed) with Burfict and 3-8 (19.9 PPG against) without him, per NFL Research.
In 11 games last season, Burfict recorded 101 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions. Over the course of his career, the sixth-year pro has recorded 502 tackles, seven sacks and five interceptions.
It's the second contract extension Burfict has received from the Bengals since signing with the team as an undrafted rookie in 2012. In August 2014, he received a three-year extension and his new extension keeps him under contract through the 2020 season.