NFL Fines Vontaze Burfict $75,000, Does Not Suspend Him for Stomping LeGarrette Blount

Bryan Brandom
(Photo: Getty Images)

On Tuesday, former NFL vice president of officiating Mike Pereira said league officials “don’t have any guts” if they drop a large fine but not a suspension on Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. The five-year veteran appeared to stomp on New England Patriots running back LeGarrette Blount and treated tight end Martellus Bennett to a dirty, low hit in a Week 6 Patriots victory.

By Pereira’s estimation, then, Roger Goodell and Co. are gutless. On Wednesday the league handed down Burfict’s punishment: a $75,000 fine. And that’s it. The league reviewed both plays but said the hit on Bennett didn’t merit punishment.

Here’s the stomp in question.

And the tackle on Bennett.

Burfict was suspended for the first three games of 2016 after he took Antonio Brown out of the playoffs with a vicious head shot in last season’s divisional round. He’ll appeal the $75,000 fine.

“If it’s a large fine and not games they don’t have any guts,” Pereira said on the Rich Eisen Show before the punshiment was handed down. “I mean, the guy was suspended for the first three games of the season. So you pile on, you pile on punishment when you look at history, and he has history dating all the way back to college for God’s sakes. Obviously it doesn’t apply in the NFL, but I don’t see how they can do anything but suspend him because it was not a football act. He didn’t lead with the helmet trying to break up a pass. He didn’t do that. This was just a dead, you know, cheap, intentional cheap shot. So to me, I’m like shocked if the NFL doesn’t maintain some leverage here and get rid of him for another couple of games.”

Maybe we shoud just stop being shocked by any decision Roger Goodell makes.