Two seasons ago, the San Francisco 49ers showed interest in tight end, Trey Burton, during free agency. Burton ended up signing a contract with the Chicago Bears on a four-year, $32 million deal. On Friday, the Bears released Burton have a disappointing two seasons. Burton finished 2018 with 54 receptions for 569 yards, but only had 14 receptions for 84 yards in 2019 in eight games. The 28-year-old reportedly never looked healthy after sports hernia surgery in the offseason. He was placed on injured reserve Week 11. Burton owned his poor season:
“It doesn’t matter how I feel. I don’t want to make any excuses for my play. I know I’m not playing well. And obviously, I want to play better. I could easily say it’s because of this, because of that, but at the end of the day I want to be out there, I want to produce, I want to be part of the offense, and it’s just not happening.”
The Bears did themselves no favors by cutting Burton. Chicago ate $7.5 million in dead cap while saving just over a million against the cap. I think we can assume there is a post-June 1 designation. The Bears will eat $5.7 million in dead money and save $2.8 million against the cap. With his injury history and lack of production last season, Burton will be relatively cheap.
The question is, do you bring in Burton on a veteran minimum contract or draft a tight end later on in the NFL Draft, or both? Burton may have been a miscast as a starting tight end, but he wouldn’t have to do any heavy lifting in San Francisco with George Kittle. Burton has a reputation for being valuable on special teams. If healthy, Burton is athletic and can help the 49ers. Keeping his snap count low may prove to be critical in keeping Burton on the field. Should the 49ers sign Burton?