After making Super Bowl history, what does the future hold for Eagles tight end Trey Burton?


Trey Burton has long been revered as one of the most athletic players on the Eagles roster and his versatility knows no bounds. That much was clear in Super Bowl 52 when the former Florida Gator tossed a touchdown pass to Nick Foles on a 4th and goal look during a crucial drive in the game. Burton now heads into uncharted waters.

A pending free agent one year ago, Burton was tendered by the Eagles after stepping up in big ways when Zach Ertz missed time due to injury during Wentz’s rookie season. The Eagles tight end had been striving for more offensive reps after a 43-yard reception against the Lions in 2015 and under Doug Pederson, his wish was granted. Catching his first touchdown pass in week 2 against the Bears, Burton continued to develop as one of the Eagles most elusive threats.

One year later, Burton caught 5 touchdowns in the regular season, an impressive feat for any player, let alone one sitting behind Zach Ertz on the depth chart. Ending the regular season with 23 receptions for 248 yards, Burton continued to soar in the postseason and of course made that iconic 4th and goal touchdown pass to Nick Foles. So, what happens next?



The Eagles are a franchise who reward loyalty and there may be no greater example than Trey Burton. Originally an undrafted free agent, Burton latched onto the Eagles as the fourth tight end on the roster before going on to lead the team in special teams tackles. As time went on, he climbed the rungs of the ladder and has developed into a reliable target for Carson Wentz, whom he worked closely with during their first offseason together. This was due to Sam Bradford and Chase Daniel working with the ‘1’s and 2’s’, leaving Wentz and Burton time to strike up quite the rapport.

The issue is that there are an abundance of teams in need of urgent tight end help and the free agent market is all but dried up. With the exception of Austin Sefarian-Jenkins (who has concerns of his own), the class is headlined by Jimmy Graham, 37-year olds Benjamin Watson and Antonio Gates, Zach Miller and Virgil Green. Experience is aplenty, but upside is low if teams want to find a piece for the future, making Burton all the more appealing.

In August of last year, at least one AFC team showed interest in Trey Burton. This was before the breakout. The potential for ‘TE1’ caliber money is there and considering that the Eagles are currently $9M in the red when it comes to cap space, they may not be able to pay Burton the money he deserves. Re-signing the do-it-all athlete seems unlikely, but if Burton does test the open waters, who will be interested?



Baltimore Ravens:
Benjamin Watson is a free agent as aforementioned and the Ravens aren’t exactly inundated with talent. Nick Boyle and former second-round pick Maxx Williams are the two notable names on the roster, leaving Flacco without any sense of reliability over the middle. Burton’s skillset may not be best utilized with the Ravens, but they will certainly come knocking.


Denver Broncos:
The Broncos added to their lack of TE’s by drafting Jake Butt in the fifth round last year, but the rookie would spend the entire 2017 campaign on injured reserve. The Broncos have plenty of veteran threats on the outside but a security blanket over the middle is a much needed addition, with former Buckeye Jeff Heuerman’s 6’5 frame potentially being the perfect compliment to Burton’s versatile skillset.


Green Bay Packers:
I think it’s safe to say that after the Martellus Bennett heartbreak, the Packers have had enough with instability at tight end. The Rodgers-to-Rodgers connection may also be soon to expire, with Richard Rodgers set to also test the free agency waters. Veteran Lance Kendricks may still be serviceable, but the Packers certainly need some long-term depth.


Houston Texans:
The Texans have finally found their franchise quarterback in Deshaun Watson and with an array out outside threats, building inward seems to be the logical option. C.J. Fiedorowicz has proven he has the ability to play at the NFL level, but repeated concussions may force him into an early retirement. The Texans don’t really have another starter beyond him and this could cause them to look elsewhere. Enter Trey Burton, a dominant receiving threat who could spread the field and draw some of the attention away from one DeAndre Hopkins.


Miami Dolphins:
With just 388 yards and 3 touchdowns, it’s safe to say Julius Thomas wasn’t exactly Miami’s greatest offseason acquisition. Considering he caught 41 passes during the 2017 season in comparison to the 23 of Trey Burton, the comparison in production is staggering, especially considering Thomas was on the field 61% of the time. Now, a lot of this can be put down to quarterback instability, but it’s safe to say that the Dolphins would like an active pass-catcher at tight end.

They could well be the prime landing spot for Jimmy Graham, but it would behoove them to at least do some digging when it comes to Trey Burton.


Mandatory Credit: James Lang-USA TODAY Sports