While many of the top free agents on this year’s market have agreed to terms with teams, the safety contingent still has some high-end options unattached. One of those players has drawn interest from two cash-rich suitors.
Both the Bears and Browns are expected to make pitches to longtime Packers safety Morgan Burnett, Ryan Wood of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
The Packers did have conversations at the Combine about what it would take to retain Burnett, and they’ve learned they could be priced out of the race. Burnett’s asking price is believed to be a deal north of $8.5MM per year. This would be the 29-year-old defender’s third NFL contract; he just wrapped up a four-year, $24.75MM deal.
Burnett has started all 102 games he’s played in Green Bay since being a 2010 third-rounder. The Browns already have acquired a Packers defensive back, and they’re planning to play Damarious Randall as a safety. They drafted Jabrill Peppers last year. Burnett obviously has far more experience than both of them. The Bears received top-flight play from Adrian Amos last year and have intriguing second-year talent Eddie Jackson on their back line as well, so their interest is somewhat curious.
Wood reports, however, that the Packers aren’t going to bow out of this without exploring a retention scenario. This is partially due to HaHa Clinton-Dix’s 2017 struggles. But Burnett could well follow Micah Hyde and Casey Hayward out of Green Bay soon, with the Browns and Bears holding the second- and seventh-most cap space as of Wednesday morning.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.