The Raiders' signing of free-agent linebacker and noted head-hunter Vontaze Burfict might have left some people scratching their heads, but FOX Sports analyst Skip Bayless wasn't one of them.
Oakland agreed to a one-year contract with the Arizona State product on Tuesday, a day after the Bengals released him. Burfict, 28, was suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. Over the course of his seven seasons, Burfict has been fined repeatedly and drawn a number of suspensions for his reckless and violent play.
And that edge is exactly why Bayless believes the 28-year-old linebacker is exactly the type of player head coach Jon Gruden is looking for to help rebuild his defense.
"[Vontaze Burfict] fits this team to a T. He's just what Jon Gruden needed and wanted. ... Jon Gruden wants to get back to skull and crossbones [Raiders]. He wants to reignite the old Raiders with Vontaze Burfict." - @RealSkipBayless pic.twitter.com/d70NNKnHRW— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) March 20, 2019
Last season, the Raiders' defense ranked last in points allowed per game and 26th in yards per game, so the Silver and Black really only have one way to go.
Oakland also added safety Lamarcus Joyner this offseason and reportedly is meeting with free-agent safety George Iloka in an attempt to shore up their secondary in Year 2 under Gruden.
Burfict tallied 33 combined tackles in seven games last season, but he missed a number of games due to concussions and a hip ailment. If he's healthy, Burfict could give the Raiders some stability in the middle of their defense as they look to be one of the NFL's most improved teams in 2019.