Trey Burton

NFC North Notes: Bears, Vikings, Flowers

The Bears have made some splashy trades since Ryan Pace replaced Phil Emery as GM in 2015. Deals that brought Khalil Mack and Mitch Trubisky to Chicago required major assets to complete. Fourth-year starter Cody Whitehair and second-round tight end Adam Shaheen also forced the Bears to surrender multiple mid-round picks. In a detailed piece by The Athletic’s Adam Jahns (subscription required), Pace summarized his aggressiveness on these fronts.

I think if you sit on your hands and you say, ‘Oh, this player is definitely going to get to us,’ and he goes right before you and you had conviction on him — not just you but the scouts and the coaches – and you wait on it, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Pace said. “If you have a guy or a group of guys, be aggressive and make it happen.

I don’t want to undervalue any of these mid-round picks. We’ve shown a lot examples of us hitting on those players. But I know if we’re ever in a situation where, ‘Hey, we’re doing a little too much here,’ we can police ourselves on that. But as long as it’s a fair deal and we’re getting a player that we all have conviction on, then we’ll do it.”

As teams break for camp, here is more from the NFC North:

  • A knee injury Ha Ha Clinton-Dix suffered during Chicago’s offseason program resulted in the recently signed safety beginning his first Bears camp on the active/PUP list. The former Packers and Redskins defender has not missed a game since the 2014 season.
  • However, the Bears received good news on Trey Burton. The team’s second-year tight end starter has been cleared for camp work. The “Philly Special” quarterback underwent sports hernia surgery this offseason.
  • Although Alexander Mattison is the assumed next man up if Dalvin Cook again goes down with an injury, Mike Zimmer cautioned about anointing the third-round pick too soon. The sixth-year Vikings coach (via the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Ben Goessling) singled out third-year UDFA C.J. Ham as a player who stands to play more on passing downs, in front of Mattison, due to pass-protection skills. Backs often begin their NFL careers limited at this skill, so the 26-year-old Ham (31 touches in two seasons, when Latavius Murray played behind Cook) may function as a stopgap while Mattison is groomed.
  • The Lions‘ top offseason expense, Trey Flowers will not begin camp with the bulk of his teammates. The four-year Patriots pass rusher will start his first Lions camp on their active/PUP list. Flowers underwent shoulder surgery before signing with the Lions, but Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes the $18MM-per-year defensive end is expected to be ready by Week 1.

Extra Points: Montgomery, Bears, Miller, XFL

The Bears drafted running back David Montgomery in the third round back in April, not long after they traded away Jordan Howard. Montgomery has the opportunity to earn a large role this offseason, and so far it sounds like he’s been seizing it. Per Adam Jahns of The Athletic, Montgomery was lighting up the Bears’ OTAs and minicamp. Jahns writes that the Iowa State product “led the rookies, if not the entire team, in highlights made during the offseason program.”

Montgomery was somewhat of a bruising runner at Iowa State, so there was some concern coming out of college about how he’d fare in the passing game. That hasn’t been an issue so far, as Jahns writes that he “excelled in running routes and catching passes,” and that he “looked like a problem for the Bears’ defense.” Per Jahns, Montgomery has both teammates and coaches excited. Tarik Cohen will play his usual role, but he’s never going to be able to handle a full allotment of snaps with his frame. It’s early, but it sounds like Montgomery could take over a featured role as a rookie.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Bears sound pleased with Montgomery’s development, and that isn’t the only good news Chicago fans are getting. In the same piece, Jahns reports that the team expects both tight end Trey Burton and receiver Anthony Miller to be ready for training camp. Burton underwent offseason sports hernia surgery, while Miller had surgery to repair a torn labrum. Both players had missed the team’s recent minicamp and OTAs. Burton’s first year in Chicago was a bit of a disappointment after the big contract that he signed, while Miller showed a lot of flashes in a rookie season that was limited by recurring shoulder issues. Both players could be in for a big 2019 if they can stay healthy.
  • The XFL has been gearing up for their first season back recently, holding a series of showcases across the country. A bunch of familiar names have popped up, and we have a new one tonight courtesy of Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Tommy Streeter, a 2012 sixth-round pick of the Ravens, will participate in the XFL’s Tampa showcase on Saturday, Auman reports. Streeter won Super Bowl XLVII with Baltimore, although he was on injured reserve at the time. He was cut by the Ravens following his rookie season, and the receiver then had stops with the Bills, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Jaguars. Most recently, the Miami product played in the CFL in 2016.
  • In case you missed it, 2017 Seahawks second-round pick Malik McDowell is facing charges of assault, resisting arrest, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

NFC North Notes: LaFleur, Vikings, Burton

Matt LaFleur‘s hands-on approach in his first year as Packers HC will have to be tabled for a while. The torn Achilles LaFleur suffered this week will require immediate surgery, with Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com reporting he will go under the knife Sunday. The 39-year-old coach was active in his first weeks leading the Packers, taking on an “enormous” load. But with the recovery from this surgery necessitating a potential six-month timetable, LaFleur’s methods will have to change. The coach was overseeing practice from a golf cart this week. This will certainly mark an interesting period for the Packers, LaFleur managing Achilles rehab while going through his first year as a head coach.

A couple weeks ago I kind of tweaked my calf on the other side,” LaFleur said, via Jim Owczarski of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “But this one, I knew immediately. It was way more forceful. I thought somebody hit me in the leg. I looked around and nobody’s by me. It’s just one of those deals. We’ll rebound. We’ll be back.”

Shifting to some of the players in the NFC North, here is the latest out of the division:

  • Kirk Cousins does not have any early retirement plans. In discussing the arrival of rookie center Garrett Bradbury, the second-year Vikings quarterback said he would like to play well into the 2020s. “I told him, ‘I’d like to work together for about the next decade,’ ” Cousins said, via Dane Mizutani of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I just tried to set that vision for him and say, ‘You be the guy here for the next decade and let’s not have to worry about having anybody else snap for the quarterback.” While it is uncertain if Cousins will be in Minnesota beyond 2020, the final year of his fully guaranteed deal, the soon-to-be 31-year-old passer would prefer he stay in the Twin Cities on what would be multiple additional contracts.
  • With Bradbury sliding in at center, Minnesota’s incumbent snapper will slide to guard. Pat Elflein has started 28 games at center since beginning his NFL career, but he said (via Mizutani) he is now working at left guard. Elflein last played guard at Ohio State. Elflein lining up on the left side would put free agent addition Josh Kline in line to start at right guard. Both will be adjusting to the Gary KubiakRick Dennison zone-blocking scheme.
  • Trey Burton will not participate in the Bears‘ final OTA sessions next week or their mid-June minicamp. Chicago’s top tight end underwent sports hernia surgery, Matt Nagy said (via NBC 5’s Mike Berman, on Twitter). The Bears hope he will be ready by training camp. Burton played all 16 games for the Bears last season, reaching career-high marks in receptions, yards and touchdowns (54/569/6).

Bears To Sign TE Trey Burton

Former Eagles tight end Trey Burton is expected to sign with the Bears, a source tells Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). Burton will land a four-year, $32MM deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

This four-year agreement looks closer to a two-year deal, however. Albert Breer of SI.com reports (on Twitter) Burton’s contract contains $18MM fully guaranteed in the first two years. After that, nothing is guaranteed, making the 2020 and ’21 seasons look like option years for the Bears.

Burton will receive a $7.5MM signing bonus and a $1MM roster bonus due early next week, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. His initial two base salaries are $2.8MM and $6.7MM, with the 2020 season also coming with a $6.7MM base. If he’s still on the roster in 2021, Burton will earn a $6MM base. Although Burton doesn’t have any fully guaranteed money due after 2019, there is a $4MM injury guarantee for part of his 2020 money, per Florio.

Burton provides new head coach Matt Nagy with a serious weapon in the offense. Between Burton and new free agent addition Allen Robinson, quarterback Mitch Trubisky couldn’t ask for much more. Lat season, Trubisky was forced to throw to one of the least-inspiring group of pass-catchers in the NFL, but he’ll now have a few legitimate targets.

Burton, of course, has been a backup for the majority of his career, as he’s played second fiddle to Zach Ertz in Philadelphia. Over the past two years, Burton has averaged 30 receptions, 288 yards, and three touchdowns per season, but he’s been extremely efficient. Football Outsiders ranked Burton third in DVOA among tight ends a season ago, meaning he provided value on a per-play basis.

Despite his relative lack of experience, Burton will now become the fifth-highest-paid tight end in the league on an annual basis. His $8MM/year salary will place behind only Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed, Rob Gronkowski, and Ertz. While Burton’s guarantees haven’t yet been made public, each of those tight ends received between $10-15MM in fully guaranteed cash.

Burton, whom PFR ranked as the best tight end on the market and the No. 19 overall free agent, drew plenty of interest before landing in Chicago, as both the 49ers and Lions expressed interest.

[RELATED: Bears Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lions Interested In TE Trey Burton

The Lions are among the teams with interest in free agent tight end Trey Burton, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). With about “half a dozen serious suitors,” in the mix for Burton, they’ll have some steep competition for his services. 

Burton emerged as a real talent for the Eagles in 2017, but they do not have the space necessary to retain him. The 49ers are reportedly among the clubs with interest in signing him and they certainly have the room to pull it off.

Over the past two seasons, Burton has averaged just 30 catches, 288 yards, and three touchdowns per campaign, but he’s been very efficient. Football Outsiders ranked Burton third in DVOA among tight ends a season ago, underscoring his value on a per-play basis.

Last week, I ranked Burton as the No. 19 free agent available based on expected contract value.

While the Lions as of now have a starting tight end in Eric Ebron, the team is listening to offers on the fifth-year tight end. The Lions picked up Ebron’s fifth-year option last May, and that’s worth $8.25MM. It’s possible Detroit could cut Ebron, however, and pursue another tight end. That decision could come down to the wire, with the option becoming guaranteed on Wednesday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

PFR’s Top 50 NFL Free Agents For 2018 1.0

There will be tons of free agents available in March, but only a some of them can be real difference makers for your favorite team. To help separate the wheat from the chaff, we’ve assembled our early list of the Top 50 NFL Free Agents for 2018.

Our early version of the NFL’s top 50 free agents may include players who will be re-signed between now and March 14. When we update this list next week, a few of the big names will be spoken for while new high-profile names will join the fray as veterans become cap casualties.

Recently, we broke down the top free agents by position on both offense and defense, but our rankings below may not have each player listed in the same order. Those position lists took the short-term value of a player into account more heavily, meaning many players in their 30s received prominent placement. Our overall top 50 list favors longer-term value, and is more about forecasting which players will be in highest demand when it comes to years and dollars.

With those caveats out of the way, let’s dive in! Here are Pro Football Rumors’ top 50 NFL free agents for 2018:

1. Kirk Cousins, QB (Redskins): At long last, Kirk Cousins is headed towards unrestricted free agency. You may or may not regard Cousins as a star, but he is the best quarterback in recent history to reach the open market and QB-needy teams will be rolling out the red carpet for him. The Jets, Vikings, Broncos, and Cardinals have been named as the top suitors for his services, but the NFL is full of surprises this time of year and we would not be surprised to see other teams get involved. The cash-flush Browns are reportedly keen on signing a lower-cost vet and drafting a QB early, but who’s to say they won’t change course and get in on the Cousins sweepstakes? The Bills, Giants, Dolphins, Bucs, and Colts could also consider kicking the tires here, but there are obstacles in that bunch ranging from established starters already in place (Eli Manning, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, and Andrew Luck) to financial constraints. No matter where he goes, it’s almost certain that Cousins will become the league’s highest-paid player of all-time. That is, until another top-tier QB signs a contract extension soon after.

2. Drew Brees (Saints): There are multiple possibilities for Cousins but it’s hard to see a scenario in which Brees actually leaves the Saints. Brees has already said that he does not plan on testing free agency, so he’ll likely put pen to paper before things begin on March 14. As far as we can tell, the only way Brees will think about leaving is if he is lowballed to an extreme degree by the Saints, but that seems improbable based on his history with the team

3. Case Keenum (Vikings): One year ago, no one ever would have expected Keenum to be one of 2018’s most sought-after free agents. The Vikings signed the former Rams signal caller to a one-year, $2MM deal in March with the idea that he would back up Sam Bradford and, eventually slide down to third on the depth chart when/if Teddy Bridgewater returned to full health. When Bradford went down in September, Keenum exceeded all expectations and put together the best season of his career. The 30-year-old graded out as Pro Football Focus’ ninth-ranked QB in 2017, putting him above the likes of Jimmy Garoppolo, Aaron Rodgers, Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford, and Tyrod Taylor. With Keenum at the helm, the Vikings earned a first-round bye and beat the Saints in a playoff thriller before succumbing to the Eagles in the NFC championship game. Of course, after four seasons of mediocrity, teams are wondering whether this was an aberration or a real sign of things to come. Teams know that Keenum is not a lock, but he’s also the best Plan B for any team that loses out on Cousins or doesn’t have the means to sign him.

4. Andrew Norwell, G (Panthers): There was a time when tackles were the only offensive linemen to really cash in on the open market. That’s no longer the case, as evidenced by the contracts of Kevin Zeitler (five years, $60MM) and Kelechi Osemele (five years, $58.5MM). Osemele inked his free agent deal with the Raiders in 2016 and Zeitler signed his in the 2017 offseason. Given the cap increase and the natural progression of the market, Norwell figures to reset the market for interior linemen. Keenum figures to gross no less than $20MM/year on his next contract, so he’s slotted behind him, but an average annual value of $13-14MM is not out of the question for the former undrafted free agent.

5. Nate Solder, OT (Patriots): Solder isn’t coming off of his best season and he might be the least sexy name in the top ten. Still, there’s a dearth of tackles league-wide and Solder has been among the league’s best at his position for quite some time. The Patriots are bracing for Solder to leave as they fear he’ll garner offers of $12MM/year. No other tackle in this year’s free agent crop is even close to him in terms of ability, so we’re also buying into the hype. Injuries contributed to Solder’s up-and-down season, particularly early on, so teams will take that into account when evaluating him.

6. Allen Robinson, WR (Jaguars): The Jaguars opted against using the franchise tag on Robinson, which is understandable since they have limited cap space. Robinson missed almost all of 2017 with an ACL tear, but his 2015 season (and even his so-so 2016 campaign) gives teams reason to believe that he can be a quality WR1. Robinson is one of only two such players on the unrestricted market, so expect him to get paid. Robinson probably couldn’t do worse than Kenny Britt‘s four-year, $32MM deal with the Browns from last season (and he should do a whole lot better), but if he is underwhelmed by the multi-year offers he receives, he could always go the Alshon Jeffery route. Jeffery inked a one-year, $9.5MM prove-it deal with the Eagles and that turned out to be a smashing success for both parties. Jeffery was rewarded with a four-year, $52MM extension in December, so Robinson’s camp will surely be open to a pillow contract if necessary. 

7. Sammy Watkins, WR (Rams): Some may view Robinson and Watkins as 1A and 1B in this year’s wide receiver class, particularly since Robinson missed all of 2017 and Watkins, despite his own injury history, played in all but one of the Rams’ games. Unfortunately, Watkins did not have the platform year he was hoping for as he caught just 39 passes for 593 yards. If we strike Robinson’s lost year and Watkins’ down year from the record, the breakdown favors the Jags receiver – Robinson averaged 77 receptions for 1,078 yards and eight touchdowns per 16 games in that set versus Watkins’ 66 grabs for 1,063 yards and seven scores. These two should come pretty close in average annual value, but we give the edge to Robinson.

8. Trumaine Johnson, CB (Rams): Players often bemoan the franchise tag, but Johnson can’t really complain after receiving two consecutive tags from the Rams and earning more than $30MM between 2016 and 2017. The Rams, rightfully, did not consider a third consecutive tag for Johnson at a cost of ~$20MM and they already have his replacement in Marcus Peters. That’s one suitor down, but plenty of other teams will be eager to speak with Johnson, who profiles as the best cornerback in a deep class.

9. Sheldon Richardson, DT (Seahawks): Richardson gave the Jets lots of headaches, but he also gave them high-end production. He didn’t quite match that production in Seattle, but Richardson is positioned for a massive payday anyway since impactful defensive linemen are at a premium. Our own Dallas Robinson estimates that Richardson will garner about $9MM/year, but I would say that is his floor. The top-end of free agency rarely yields team-friendly deals, so Richardson could easily creep into eight figures in AAV, particularly since he does not turn 28 until November.

10. Dontari Poe, DT (Falcons): Poe thought he was in for a monster contract last offseason, but concerns about his lingering back issues forced him to take a one-year, $8MM deal with Atlanta. Teams may still worry about his back being a ticking time bomb, but perhaps they’ll view him in a different light now that he has played back-to-back 16 game seasons and has only missed two regular season contests over the course of his career.

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49ers Interested In TE Trey Burton

The 49ers are “believed” to be one of the NFL teams with interest in pending free agent tight end Trey Burton, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee.

[RELATED: Top 2018 NFL Free Agents — Offense]

Half the league reportedly has interest in Burton, so the 49ers will certainly have competition if they seek to sign the 26-year-old former undrafted free agent. But San Francisco will enter the free agent period with roughly $66MM in cap space (good for fifth in the league), so the club will have the funds needed to make a real pursuit of Burton, who remains unlikely to re-sign with the Eagles after rejecting an offer from Philadelphia that he did not consider “serious.”

As Barrows notes, the 49ers currently employ two in-line tight ends in George Kittle and Garrett Celek. However, head coach Kyle Shanahan is likely looking for a “move” tight end, a player — such as Burton — who has the ability to play in the slot or split out wide. Other tight ends on San Franscisco’s roster includes Cole Hikutini and Cole Wick, while Barrows reports the Niners aren’t expected to re-sign veteran Logan Paulsen.

Burton, for his part, has spent four seasons with the Eagles but only became a factor on offense beginning in 2016. Even since then, he’s played second fiddle to starting tight end Zach Ertz. Over the past two years, Burton has averaged 30 receptions, 288 yards, and three touchdowns per season, but he’s been extremely efficient. Football Outsiders ranked Burton third in DVOA among tight ends a season ago, meaning he provided value on a per-play basis.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Top 2018 NFL Free Agents By Position: Offense

NFL free agency will get underway on Wednesday, March 14th, and while the list of free agents will change between now and then, we do have some idea of who will be available when free agency kicks off. The frenzy is right around the corner and it’s time for us to break down the outlook for each position. We’ll start today on offense, before getting to defense and special teams later this week.

Listed below are our rankings for the top 15 free agents at each offensive position. The rankings aren’t necessarily determined by the value of the contracts that each player is expected to land in free agency, they are simply the players we like the most at each position, with both short- and long-term value taken into account. Restricted and exclusive-rights free agents are not listed here since they are unlikely to actually reach the open market. The same goes for players who have been franchise tagged or transition tagged.

We’ll almost certainly be higher or lower on some guys than you are, so we encourage you to make your voice heard in our comments section to let us know which free agents we’ve got wrong.

Here’s our breakdown of the current top 15 free agents by offensive position for 2018:

Quarterback:

  1. Kirk Cousins
  2. Drew Brees
  3. Case Keenum
  4. A.J. McCarron
  5. Sam Bradford
  6. Teddy Bridgewater
  7. Colin Kaepernick
  8. Josh McCown
  9. Mike Glennon
  10. Drew Stanton
  11. Jay Cutler
  12. Chase Daniel
  13. Ryan Fitzpatrick
  14. Brock Osweiler
  15. Tom Savage

There were many difficult calls when putting this list together, but ranking Kirk Cousins as the No. 1 QB available was not among them. Cousins is the best quarterback to reach free agency in recent history and he’ll become the highest-paid player of all-time – at least, for some period of time – in mid-March. Who will make history with Cousins? That’s anyone’s guess right now. The Browns have more cap room than any other team, but a recent report from Adam Schefter of ESPN.com listed the Broncos, Cardinals, Jets, and Vikings as the final suitors for Cousins. Of those four, the Jets have the most money to work with, but they’re concerned about the Vikings winning out and Cousins’ desire to win could point him in another direction. If the Broncos and Cardinals want in on the Cousins sweepstakes, they’ll have to get creative with the books.

Drew Brees is included here, but by his own admission, he’ll be re-signing with the Saints rather than testing the open waters of free agency. Unless the Saints lowball their franchise QB, it’s hard to see him leaving New Orleans.

Case Keenum put together a tremendous season for the Vikings, but he doesn’t have a history of success beyond 2017. There will be plenty of interest in Keenum, but only after QB-needy teams strike out on Cousins. The incumbent Vikings could re-sign Keenum, but right now, it seems like they are intent on exploring the Cousins waters first.

There isn’t a ton of footage on A.J. McCarron, which made his placement on this list awfully tricky. We know this much: McCarron did well in place of Dalton in the home stretch of the 2015 season and his former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson was salivating at the chance of landing him before the Browns bungled the trade with the Bengals. McCarron’s relative youth is a plus (he won’t turn 28 until September) and his lack of experience can be looked at as a positive. Unlike some of the other names on this list, he hasn’t run up his NFL odometer.

What will NFL teams make of Teddy Bridgewater and Sam Bradford this offseason? Not long ago, both seemed like quality starting options. However, there are serious injury questions about both players and any team signing them will either look to backstop them with another decent option or ask them to come onboard as a QB2. With that in mind, one has to wonder if Bradford would consider retirement if asked to hold the clipboard for another signal caller. Bradford has earned upwards of $110MM over the years in the NFL, so it’s safe to say that he has enough money in the bank to call it quits if he wants. For now, he’s intent on playing.

Colin Kaepernick‘s placement on this list is sure to draw some strong reactions from his fans and detractors alike. Looking purely at his football ability, there’s no question that he belongs on someone’s roster. At minimum, Kaepernick profiles as a high-end backup, even after a year out of the game.

Quarterbacks coaches have long believed that Mike Glennon is capable of great things, due in part to his height. At 6’7″, he can see over any defensive line, but he hasn’t done much on the field to prove that he is a quality Week 1 starting option. Josh McCown, who is a decade his senior, edges him here for his surprisingly strong performance in 2017 at the helm of a weak Jets offense.

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Free Agency Notes: Jets, Colts, Lewis, Burton

Here’s a look at the latest free agency buzz:

  • Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter) hears the Jets and Colts are “possible destinations” for Patriots free agent running back Dion Lewis. The language in Fowler’s report is admittedly soft, but free agents are technically forbidden from talking to rival teams during this time, so this may be a wink-wink acknowledgement that both teams have engaged in some secretive discussions prior to the legal tampering period on March 12. Recently, Mike Florio of PFT indicated that the Texans, 49ers, and Raiders were also potential destinations for the 27-year-old (28 in September).
  • No surprise here, but free agent tight end Trey Burton is a popular man. With the Eagles unlikely to retain him, 16 clubs have already checked in on his status this week, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link).
  • Some executives who spoke with Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com indicated that Dontari Poe could be a fit for the Buccaneers. Poe, who did well on his one-year platform deal with the Falcons, may also fit the Redskins, Broncos, and Colts, per JLC.
  • More from JLC, who cautions of a potential bidding war between the Bears and Chiefs over backup quarterback Chase Daniel. The Saints would like to retain the veteran, but they might not be able to afford him with a big money extension on the horizon for Drew Brees. The Bears and Chiefs both make sense for Daniel given the ties he has to both coaching staffs.

Trey Burton Unlikely To Return To Eagles

The defending champions are looking to keep the band together with limited cap space this offseason. Already, they’re on the verge of losing at least one key player. The Eagles are unlikely to retain tight end Trey Burton and he is expected to sign with another team in March, a person with knowledge of the negotiations tells Matt Lombardo of NJ.comTrey Burton (vertical)

The Eagles made an offer that Burton, but the tight end did not consider that proposal to be “serious,” according to the source. Burton now projects as the best tight end available on the open market.

Burton most of the season behind Zach Ertz on the Eagles’ depth chart. The undrafted free agent then saw an uptick in playing time when Ertz suffered a concussion late in the season. In the Super Bowl, Burton cemented his place in Philadelphia lore when he threw the “Philly Special” touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles.

In the regular season, Burton caught 23 passes for 248 yards and a career-high five touchdowns. There are bigger names in this year’s free agent TE crop such as Jimmy Graham, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, and Tyler Eifert, but Burton figures to command the largest offers of the group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.