New teammates Antonio Brown, Vontaze Burfict downplay ugly past
Antonio Brown and Vontaze Burfict are now teammates with the Oakland Raiders, and both players are now attempting to move beyond an extremely ugly shared history.
The Raiders on Tuesday confirmed Burfict has signed a one-year deal after the controversial linebacker was cut loose by the Cincinnati Bengals following a career littered with late hits, fines and suspensions.
Burfict perhaps most notoriously is remembered for questionable play that came to typify the ugly divisional rivalry that exists between the Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers. Incidentally, one of Burfict’s most notorious dirty plays came during a playoff game back in 2016 when he went headhunting at Brown’s expense, a shot that left the Steelers wideout concussed.
This is just brutal pic.twitter.com/hBsIAJIBwO— The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) January 10, 2016
Then last season, Burfict appeared to take a shot at Brown’s head yet again.
Burfict throwing an elbow into AB's head, because of course! pic.twitter.com/182OzqxE62— Benstonium (@Benstonium) October 14, 2018
Despite the reasonable assumption that Brown did not take kindly to such egregious hits and harbors bitterness toward Burfict over them, it appears time heals all wounds and he’s instead willing to let bygones be bygones.
Brown took to Twitter Tuesday to suggest as much, indicating he had spoken with Burfict and all the ugliness has been left in the past.
Just talked @King55Tez black and silver baby #RaiderNation #BullySeason— Antonio Brown (@AB84) March 20, 2019
Burfict, meanwhile, suggested there is no reason for resentment in the first place, dubiously arguing such nastiness is simply part of football and the two will leave the past in the past.
“It’s all fun and games, man. We’re on the same team,” Burfict said, via the East Bay Times. “It’s one goal. We might (end up) being the closest friends on the team… I can’t wait to meet him.”
While all that may be true, let’s hope for the sake of the Raiders that nothing questionable or untoward occurs between Brown and Burfict on the practice field. That’s a disaster just waiting to happen.