Nagy wants his "U" tight end to be a focal point of the passing attack, which explains why the Bears handed a four-year, $32 million contract to a player with 63 receptions in 61 career games. Burton did have 122 yards and three touchdowns in the two contests Zach Ertz missed for the Eagles last season, providing a strong hint that he's ready for a larger role ahead of his fifth NFL campaign. Burton will have that opportunity in Chicago, though his lack of size by tight-end standards may sometimes keep him off the field on early downs -- whereas Kelce filled an every-down role for the Chiefs. The former Eagle doesn't have a strong reputation as a blocker and thus figures to lose some snaps to Adam Shaheen and Dion Sims when Chicago is in situations that call for a traditional in-line tight end. The Bears also need to create touches for running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen, as well as their offseason additions at wide receiver, Allen Robinson (knee) and Taylor Gabriel.
Burton will sign a four-year, $32 million contract with the Bears when free agency opens Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
This is a massive contract for an undrafted free agent (2014) who had 63 catches in 61 career regular-season games for the Eagles. Burton did impress in the two contests Zach Ertz missed last season, catching seven passes for 122 yards and a trio of scores. The 26-year-old tight end will now head to Chicago, where he and Allen Robinson will try to help Mitchell Trubisky make a Year 2 leap. Burton won't necessarily have an every-down role, but he at least figures to be a regular in passing situations. The Bears presumably hope 2017 second-round pick Adam Shaheen will develop into their top in-line/blocking tight end, with Burton serving as a flex receiver. Dion Sims may soon be released as the Bears retool under new head coach Matt Nagy, who coordinated a Chiefs offense in which Travis Kelce caught 83 passes for 1,038 yards and eight touchdowns in 15 games last season.
Burton has a number of serious suitors, including the Lions, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports.
Best known for throwing a touchdown pass to Nick Foles on "Philly Special" in the Super Bowl last month, Burton enjoyed an efficient regular season prior to the famous play, catching 23 of 30 targets for 248 yards and five touchdowns. He had seven receptions for 122 yards and three scores in the two games Zach Ertz missed, proving to be a more than capable replacement. In a free-agent class without any sure things at tight end, the 26-year-old Burton should be able to find starter money despite his lack of experience in a leading role. Detroit would be an ideal landing spot, assuming the Lions would trade or release Eric Ebron in a corresponding move. Burton figures to find a new team within the first few days of the free agency period.
Burton threw a one-yard touchdown pass in Sunday's 41-33 win over the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and failed to reel in the only pass thrown his way.
A passing touchdown certainly is surprising, but it's good to know Burton has that in his back pocket. While the 26-year-old caught a career-high five touchdowns during the regular season, he actually saw one fewer red-zone target in 2017 than he did the season prior. His 248 yards receiving while catching 23 of 31 targets all represent regression from 2016 as well. The soon-to-be fifth-year pro will now become an unrestricted free agent and will need to find somewhere to play outside of an elite tight end's shadow if the former Gator is to have much fantasy value next season.
Burton hauled in both of his targets for 15 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's 34-29 win over the Giants.
Though Burton was able to reach the end zone for the second game in a row, he unsurprisingly saw his workload take a significant hit with the return of starting tight end Zach Ertz from a one-game absence. Burton played just 11 of the Eagles' 68 offensive snaps Sunday, a stark decline from the 48 of 91 snaps (52.7 percent) he received in the Week 14 win over the Rams. So long as Ertz stays healthy over the final two regular-season contests, Burton isn't likely to see a dramatic spike in his usage, but he should remain a red-zone factor and short-yardage target when he's on the field.
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