Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that the Chicago Bears are prepared to release tight end Trey Burton. According to Adam Jahns of the Athletic, Chicago plans to designate Burton as a post-June 1 release.
An injury-plagued 2019 saw Burton labor through two separate injuries as the University of Florida product underwent offseason sports hernia surgery before a calf injury prematurely ended his 2019 campaign. The Bears entered the 2019 offseason in desperate need to help at the tight end position, with JP Holtz pacing all Bears tight ends with 91 reception yards.
For comparison’s sake, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce caught 97 passes for 1,228 yards.
After the Bears signed tight end Jimmy Graham in March, doubts lingered over Burton’s future in Chicago, though some speculated the two tight ends could coexist to provide incumbent starter Mitch Trubisky or free-agent signee Nick Foles two competent drop-down options.
Burton, 28, emerged as a multi-dimensional threat with the Philadelphia Eagles after going undrafted out of the University of Florida. As recently as 2018, Burton, who is celebrated as one of the NFL’s best blocking tight ends, caught 54 receptions for 569 receiving yards, both career highs.
Ahead of the 2018 NFL season, the Bears signed Burton to a four-year, $32 million contract. Burton’s deal included a $7 million signing bonus and $22 million in guaranteed money.
Releasing him as a post-June 1 designation liberates $2.8 million in cap space while creating $5.75 million in dead money.
Burton rose to national prominence thanks to his role in the Philly Special, a trick play that helped the Philadelphia Eagles secure the franchise’s first Super Bowl in franchise history (the Eagles also won three NFL Championships before the league renamed it to the Super Bowl in 1968).
Last season, Burton caught 14 receptions for 84 receiving yards and zero touchdowns across 8 games.