According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Chicago Bears are releasing veteran tight end Trey Burton—just two years after signing a 4-year, $32 million deal in 2018:
Bears releasing Trey Burton, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 17, 2020
It raises the question of whether the tight end needy Indianapolis Colts should be interested in pursuing the veteran free agent.
Originally signed by the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent out of Florida in 2014, the 6’2”, 238 pound tight end had a breakout season in 2017 for Philadelphia—catching 5 touchdown receptions under then Eagles’ offensive coordinator Frank Reich.
Burton won a Super Bowl that season with the Eagles and relayed his breakout performance into a big contract with the Bears the following offseason.
The 28 year old tight end had a solid debut season for the Bears in 2018, catching 54 receptions for 569 receiving yards and 6 touchdown receptions in all 16 starts.
However, he had just 14 receptions for 84 receiving yards and no touchdown receptions this past season in 8 games (5 starts), as he struggled with a lingering groin injury before eventually being shut down for the season.
Obviously, Colts head coach Frank Reich has a great familiarity with Burton already from their time together in Philadelphia.
The Colts are also in need of a receiving tight end behind starter Jack Doyle, as the team let Pro Bowler Eric Ebron leave to the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency earlier this offseason.
When fully healthy, Burton is a quality receiving tight end option with soft hands and good athleticism for the position—who already has a leg up on learning Reich’s offensive system.
Per Schefter, Burton reportedly did recently undergo offseason hip surgery, but he’s expected to be ready for training camp.
Burton isn’t anticipated to cost much either as the Bears still owe him $4 million—meaning he could be had for around the veteran minimum by his next team.
Given that this year’s tight end draft class lacks top end options, Burton could be a nice veteran addition for the Colts at this juncture of the offseason. He could provide another reliable receiver and red zone option for Indianapolis—while saving a potential draft pick.