According to former NFL agent Joel Corry, Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict could command as much as $9 million per year if he were to reach the open the market.
However, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Inquirer believes Burfict would have to “discount that number” in order to get a deal done right now.
Recent reports have mentioned that two sides are “making progress” towards an agreement on a long-term contract, but as things stand right now, Burfict doesn’t have a significant amount of leverage based on the fact that he will be restricted free agent next year.
The Bengals could stick with a more reasonable annual salary for the time being with the intention of placing a first-round tender on Burfict next year that would run them close to $3.3 million.
Burfict, 23, wound up going undrafted out of Arizona State back in 2012 due to numerous concerns, but he has quickly developed into the Bengals best linebacker, and surprisingly led the NFL tackles last season.
As of now, he stands to make just $570,000 for the 2014 season,so you can see that he has clearly earned a significant pay raise.
Last year, he totaled 170 tackles, three sacks, an interception, a forced fumble, two recoveries and a defensive touchdown.