Cincinnati Bengals give key linebacker long-term contract extension

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Despite three straight early playoff exits, the Cincinnati Bengals know that they have something special in their current crop of players. That’s why general manager Mike Brown is working so hard to secure the key pieces on his roster for the long haul.

Quarterback Andy Dalton was given a massive, team-friendly deal a few weeks ago and head coach Marvin Lewis is pressuring wide receiver A.J. Green to get to the negotiating table.

Yesterday the Bengals locked up a big piece on defense for the foreseeable future by extending linebacker Vontaze Burfict through 2017:

Burfict led the NFL with 171 tackles last season and has 298 in his career. He is seen as indispensible for a defensive unit that was ranked number three overall in 2013.

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