Burton Has One Foot Out the Door
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - There are stages in an NFL career and depending on where a player is on his journey, the Super Bowl champions could possess a rather large advantage when it comes to recruiting.
That's not the case with Trey Burton, 26, and the Philadelphia Eagles, however.
As a former undrafted free agent who played well as a receiver when Zach Ertz was sidelined, this is Burton's opportunity to cash in and with Philadelphia projected to be $9.4 million over the cap when the new league year starts, overpaying a backup is not on Howie Roseman's to-do list.
And that's what Burton would remain in Philadelphia because Ertz is a star and is going to be on the field 90 percent of the time when healthy. You could then argue playing more 12 personnel but the fact that blocking is not the forte of either Ertz or Burton limits how often you can go to that personnel grouping.
Then there is the personal side of the pros and cons list to staying in Philadelphia for less.
As a professional Burton has now already reached the pinnacle, capturing the Super Bowl ring so many others around the league are shooting for. On the homefornt, he has three young children to think about. On the other hand, he is very close personally with Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz.
NJ.com reported that the Eagles have offered a new deal to Burton but one his camp "didn't consider serious." In other words, the Eagles were probably hoping for the hometown discount from the triggerman of the "Philly Special," who will always be a part of Philly folklore.
”We are fully expecting Trey to sign elsewhere,” the source, likely Burton's agent, told NJ.Com.
Burton snatched 23 receptions for 248 yards and five touchdowns while remaining a valuable special teams contributor in 2017, grading out as the 13th best tight end in football by ProFootballFocus.com. By comparison, Ertz was No. 5 with far more reps (946 to 345) and veteran Brent Celek was No. 62.
With Celek a retirement possibility or potential cap casualty, the Eagles would all of a sudden be very thin at tight end with only the unproven Billy Brown, former rugby star Adam Zaruba, and Joshua Perkins on the offseason roster. The team is very high on the receiving ability of Brown, a former king-sized college receiver (6-foot-4, 255) in college at Shepherd.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen