The NFL announced on Thursday that Burfict will be suspended for the first four games of the 2018 season after violating the NFL's performance enhancing drug policy.
The Bengals have made it clear they expect Burfict to lead them regardless of a suspension, but the contractual situation is something to keep in mind.
Separate from those suspensions, Burfict has been fined $303,637 for 11 on-field incidents in his National Football League career, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
"It's not ideal when a guy is not available to us and we recognize that, but our over-riding thought is how to field the best football team we can possibly field".
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Burfict was suspended the first three games of last season for an illegal hit on Chiefs fullback Anthony Sherman in the preseason.
Along with the four-game ban, Burfict will not be paid during his absence.
This will mark the third straight season the controversial linebacker has been suspended at the start of the year. Last season he recorded just 69 total tackles in the 10 games that he had played in. He initially was suspended five games but had the penalty reduced on appeal.