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Bengals release oft-suspended LB Burfict

(AP Photo/Frank Victores, File)

The Bengals stuck with linebacker Vontaze Burfict through all his troubles, including a hit to Antonio Brown's head that led to a playoff loss. They finally released him on Monday after a season of below-average performance.

During seven seasons with Cincinnati, Burfict was repeatedly suspended by the NFL for egregious hits and violating its policy on performance-enhancers. He was fined regularly for hits that crossed the line, most notably the one to Brown's head that helped the Steelers rally for an 18-16 playoff win in the 2015 season.

Through it all, the Bengals stood solidly behind the linebacker and gave him contract extensions. His significant fall-off in performance last season led them to finally cut ties.

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