I am tired of the argument that a coach or general manager has to weigh the pluses and minuses of every player on his or her team when it comes to deciding whether to cut a player, especially if that player has already cost you a playoff game and seemingly doesn’t learn from his actions.
Vontaze Burfict, of the Cincinnati Bengals, led the NFL in penalties last year with 13. The most gregarious was when he teamed up with another loose cannon, Adam Jones, to get personal fouls at the end of a game playoff game with the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, giving Pittsburgh 30 bonus yards, putting them in field goal range and the rest is history.
I was watching Sunday’s game with Washington and the first thing I see is Adam Jones in another shoving match, and Burfict getting another costly penalty. It is a pattern, and no matter how talented management thinks these guys are, they keep costing the team.
It is time to cut both Burfict and Jones. Burfict mainly because he can’t control his temper for a minute and Jones because he is a step slow and not an asset to the team at all.
We have rewarded bad behavior in the game of American football for much too long. When someone looks at the baggage a player brings with him and chooses to sign him anyway, they bring a bad influence into their locker room and eventually the decision to sign him will come back to haunt them, such as the case with both Burfict and Jones.
It’s not like the NFL was unaware of their history, but overlooked it and the Bengals did what they usually do, shoot themselves in the foot. They’re not the first and they won’t be the last. When you overlook a problem because you think the problem is outweighed by whatever plus you perceive it to be, you are asking for problems.
It’s time for the entire NFL to halt the practice of rewarding bad behavior and it can begin with cutting Vontaze Burfict. Sure, I know teams have no soul and someone else will take him, but let him cause a headache for someone else’s team for a change.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.