Burfict has been suspended three times in his career for hits violating the NFL's player safety rules, according to The Associated Press. The longest previous suspension for an on-field incident was five games, handed out to Tennessee's Albert Haynesworth in 2006 for kicking and stomping on Dallas Cowboys center Andre Gurode's face, the AP reported.
"There were no mitigating circumstances on this play," NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote in a letter to Burfict, according to ESPN. "Your contact was unnecessary, flagrant and should have been avoided. For your actions, you were penalized and disqualified from the game.
“Following each of your previous rule violations, you were warned by me and each of the jointly-appointed appeal officers that future violations would result in escalated accountability measures. However, you have continued to flagrantly abuse rules designated to protect yourself and your opponents from unnecessary risk.
“Your extensive history of rules violations is factored into this decision regarding accountability measures.”
League officials said Burfict will not be paid during the 12-game suspension, which would also extend into the postseason, ESPN reported. That will cost Burfict at least $1.1 million, plus any in-season bonuses, according to the AP,
Burfict has the right to appeal the suspension.