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Bears admit $32-m mistake as Trey Burton released

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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 Trey 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.

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