After just two years of a 4-year $32 million contract, the Bears have designated Trey Burton as a post-June 1st release. The move ends one of the more disappointing free-agent signings of recent years, and there have been a few.
The former Eagles backup was signed in the spring of 2018 despite having never topped 400 yards in a season. He was coming off his most productive season in terms of touchdowns, with 5, but posted just 248 yards in 2017. Many believed he had a very high ceiling but was trapped behind Zach Ertz on the Eagles depth chart.
Trey Burton was massively overpaid
While Burton may have the upside everyone was predicting, paying him $8 million per season was a massive reach at a time when Ertz, one of the best tight ends in the game was only getting $8.5 million per season. The salary made Trey Burton the eighth highest-paid tight end in the league despite career numbers at the time of 63 reception, 628 yards, and 6 touchdowns.
In his two years with the Bears, Burton caught 64 passes, for 653 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Almost identical numbers to those he posted in Philly. His 2019 season was cut short by a calf injury that would see him placed on IR. He had undergone surgeries prior to the season to address a groin muscle injury.
While Burton may have failed to live up to his potential, his output was essentially identical to his time in Philadelphia so this is more a failing on the front office. Paying such a ridiculous amount of money based on only decent production is always a risk.
His release will save the Bears $2.7 million in cap space in 2020, although he will still carry a dead cap number of $4.84 million and a further $1.75 million in 2021 per spotrac.