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Former Bengals, Raiders LB Vontaze Burfict reinstated after 12-game suspension

Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4adf7b785553760339ab3deab2f63a7f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Former Oakland Raiders linebacker Vontaze Burfict (55) is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March. File Photo by Terry Schmitt/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Veteran linebacker Vontaze Burfict has worked with personnel from around the NFL this off-season to conform his style of play to the league's rules after serving a 12-game suspension for another illegal hit.

League sources told NFL Media on Monday that Burfict was quietly reinstated last month after he served a 12-game ban for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Indianapolis Colts tight end Jack Doyle in 2019.

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Burfict's agent, Peter Schaffer, told NFL Media that his client has spent this off-season watching tape and speaking to coaches and other experts about proper conduct in the league.

"Vontaze has spent the entire off-season studying and learning the proper code of conduct for participation in the NFL," Schaffer said in a statement. "He has watched tape, talked with coaches and NFL experts, doing everything he can to conform his passionate play to the rules of the NFL.

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"This is a serious issue not only for Vontaze but all players, and he is serious about doing things the right way and being a leader in playing football the right way."

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Burfict, 29, has been working out at Arizona State, his alma mater. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

Burfict, who played for the then-Oakland Raiders at the time, was handed his fourth NFL suspension after his illegal hit in last year's game against the Colts. While a member of the Cincinnati Bengals, he was repeatedly suspended by the league for illegal hits and violating its PED policy.

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In 79 career regular-season games between the Bengals and Raiders, Burfict has recorded 622 total tackles, 8.5 sacks, five interceptions and 29 passes defensed.

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