The NFL Draft may be on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean that the free agent market isn’t appealing. On Friday evening, Adam Schefter reported that the Chicago Bears intend to part ways with Tight End Trey Burton. Bringing him home is absolutely an avenue the Eagles should explore.
Burton initially signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, learning behind James Casey, Brent Celek, and Zach Ertz. After climbing his way up the depth chart through leading the team in special teams tackles, he caught a huge 43-yard reception against the Lions in 2015, showcasing his ability to become an offensive playmaker. With a new Head Coach in town a few months later, it didn’t take Burton long to shine, catching his first touchdown pass in week 2 against the Bears.
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.
After that, it was clear that Burton’s ceiling would never be reached behind Ertz and he rightly sought a payday, signing a four-year deal worth $32M. The Eagles would go on to draft Dallas Goedert and the rest was history…kinda.
Burton started out hot, notching a career-year under Matt Nagy in 2018, registering 562 yards and 6 touchdowns. One season later, he was hampered by injuries and rapidly became a non-factor, catching just 14 passes.
So, why on earth should the Eagles have interest?
The Eagles love 12/13 personnel sets. Running those so consistently has become the foundation of their ground-dominant offense, but has also been seen as a slight issue. Richard Rodgers has had both seasons as an Eagle ripped away from him and Joshua Perkins is more of a slot receiver than an in-line blocker, unlike Ertz and Goedert who can do both. If either of the two star pass-catchers go down with injury, the Eagles are in trouble…as we found out last year.
Bringing Burton back on a cheap deal would not only see him return to an offense that understands his strengths, but reunite him with two very close friends in Ertz and Wentz. The Eagles would solidify their TE3 role without needing to spend a draft asset in a weak Tight End class, and can roll into 2020 with year another passing-game threat…and a local hero.
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