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Burfict issues no comment on contract

8/26/2014

CINCINNATI -- Vontaze Burfict finally spoke to reporters on Tuesday, but it was what he didn't say that warranted a headline.

For the first time since before he reportedly agreed with the Cincinnati Bengals last week on a contract extension that was said to pay him more than $20 million, Burfict fielded questions about the suddenly troubling extension and the apparent stalemate that has happened since.

When asked if he wanted to comment about the talks that have been stagnant since Wednesday's reports about the agreement, the linebacker whispered, "No comment."

Asked if he was ready for the extension to reach a resolution, Burfict answered once more with a "no comment."

A locker away, listening to the whole pre-practice interview session, veteran cornerback Terence Newman chimed in: "I know I would like for him to get it resolved."

Burfict isn't answering any questions about the apparent extension debacle, and no one else involved in the situation really is, either. The Bengals aren't addressing the extension until it's finalized, and so far attempts to reach his agents for comment have been unsuccessful.

Last Friday, coach Marvin Lewis seemed to take exception with the way news of the pending agreement was publicized. In his only comments on Burfict's contract impasse, Lewis said at that time that the deal "is not signed off."

It still isn't.

"I would guess we expect him to sign," Lewis added. "Obviously the agent believes he has a deal. We didn't release it."

Burfict switched representation in February, hiring Paradigm Sports to help him get his second deal.

As he enters the third and final season on his rookie deal, the Pro Bowl linebacker is scheduled to make $570,000. Last week, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the agreement Burfict and the Bengals reached would have paid him $7.6 million this season on the first year of the new deal.

With 298 career tackles in 32 regular season games, Burfict has been arguably the Bengals' best defender since he has been in Cincinnati. He had a league-high 171 tackles last year. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has often praised his football intelligence and credits Burfict for knowing the system better than any other player on the team.