The Chicago Bears and tight end Trey Burton reached an agreement Tuesday on a four-year, $32 million contract.
Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network first reported the signing, which is expected to get finalized after free agency officially opens Wednesday. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com provided the deal's financial details.
Burton is coming off consecutive solid seasons operating as Zach Ertz's backup with the Philadelphia Eagles. He posted 37 catches for 327 yards and one touchdown in 2016 and 23 receptions for 248 yards and five scores in 2017.
The 26-year-old University of Florida product shined in the Eagles' 43-35 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14. He made five grabs for 71 yards and two touchdowns with Ertz sidelined due to a concussion, flashing his playmaking upside when thrust into a bigger role.
"It wasn't anything we saw from the Rams, we just had opportunities to make plays and we did," Burton told Eagles reporter Dave Spadaro afterward. "We would have loved to have had Zach out there but he wasn't able to go, so Brent and I stepped in. That's what we do here."
He'll also find himself on Super Bowl highlight reels for years to come after throwing a touchdown pass to Eagles quarterback Nick Foles on a perfectly executed trick play during the team's 41-33 championship triumph over the New England Patriots.
While his overall numbers were limited by Ertz's presence most weeks, Pro Football Focus still graded him as the NFL's 13th-best tight end last season.
It's been a steady rise for the Florida native, who signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2014 and played a niche role in his first two years.
Signing with the Bears should allow Burton to get more consistent playing time than he did in Philadelphia. Now, the question will be whether he can turn his flashes of potential with the Eagles into something more substantial on a weekly basis.
Look for him to slot in as Chicago's top tight end ahead of Dion Sims, and he could also emerge as a chief target in the passing game if wide receiver Cameron Meredith leaves in free agency.
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