One of the biggest weaknesses for the Oakland Raiders in recent years has been at the linebacker position as they have not really addressed it with a high draft pick or free agent signing.
That may be changing this offseason though considering the Raiders have three first-round draft picks and some cap space remaining even after making a variety of signings.
It appears the Raiders front office understands that they currently have a hole at linebacker and are beginning to search for the solution. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, they are hosting former Cincinnati Bengals middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict for a visit:
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2019
There is no denying Burfict’s talent on the field as he was named a Pro Bowler in 2013 with the Bengals and is widely talked about as one of best linebackers in the sport despite going undrafted in 2010 out of Arizona State.
Burfict does carry plenty of baggage though as he has been suspended in each of the last three seasons and is known to be one of the dirtiest players in the league.
He was suspended for three games to start the 2016 season for multiple violations of the league’s player safety policy, and then three more games in 2017 for a preseason hit on Kansas City Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman after an appeal reduced it from five games.
Then at the start of 2018, he was suspended because of a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
If all goes as planned at the meeting though, it would not be all that surprising to see Jon Gruden and the Raiders take a chance on Burfict hoping he can get back to his Pro Bowl form.