NFL Free Agency, Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders sign Vontaze Burfict: Grade, reaction and more

The Oakland Raiders defense is in need of a lot of help. And coordinator Paul Guenther will now see a very familiar face in linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

Once again, the transaction wire for the Oakland Raiders is extremely busy. Last offseason and evening during the fall, players were coming and going at quite the pace.

This year, head coach Jon Gruden and new general manager Mike Mayock have been busy restocking the cupboards. The Raiders gave big money to wide receiver Antonio Brown and tackle Trent Brown, the former acquired in a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Silver and Black also added wide receiver Tyrell Williams and free safety Lamarcus Joyner from the Chargers and Rams, respectively.

But the latest move, the signing of linebacker Vontaze Burfict, is extremely fascinating. The talented but controversial defender, cut loose by the Cincinnati Bengals, is reunited with his former coordinator Paul Guenther.

Contract details

The NFL Network tandem of Tom Pelissero and Ian Rapoport report that Burfict has inked a one-year, $5 million deal with the Silver and Black.

National reaction

The talent has always been there and if the grade was strictly based on performance, it would perhaps be a lot higher. But Burfict comes with plenty of baggage and not because it’s a long trip from the Queen City to the Bay Area. Still, he joins a defensive unit that is in dire need of playmakers as well as a change in demeanor.  The Raiders have been substandard on this side of the ball for too many years and the front seven is short on talent.

Only two teams in the league allowed more rushing yards per game this past season than the Silver and Black. Some of that is on the defensive line, which figures to get more help via the draft. As for Burfict, he know exactly what Guenther likes to do. Now he just needs to stay on the field long enough to achieve those “goals.”

Can Burfict be a tone-setter for Guenther’s defense? Can the Raiders finally turn things around on this side of the ball? Again, April’s draft will have a big say in the matter. But the addition of the former Bengals’ performer is eye-opening for many reasons.

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