Trey Burton Generating Plenty of Interest
(973espn.com) - To no one's surprise, Eagles tight end Trey Burton is expected to have quite the market once free agency officially begins on March 14.
The triggerman of the famed "Philly Special" is expected to get his opportunity to cash in with the NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that 16 different organizations have checked in on his status at the NFL's Scouting Combine.
Add the Eagles into the mix and over half of the league's teams have at least a cursory interest in the former undrafted free agent.
Burton, 26, played well as a receiver when Zach Ertz was sidelined this past season, a performance that obviously opened the eyes of many.
With Philadelphia projected to be just under $10 million over the cap when the new league year begins, overpaying a backup is not at the top of Howie Roseman's to-do list, something Burton would remain with the Eagles because Ertz is a full-fledged star at this point and is going to be on the field 90 percent of the time when healthy.
Those who then counter by saying Doug Pederson could employ more 12 personnel are ignoring the fact that neither Ertz or Burton are all that adept at the blocking aspect of the position.
From Burton's standpoint, he's already captured a Super Bowl ring and has three young children so a payday is going to be important.
NJ.com reported last month that the Eagles 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.
Burton finished with 23 receptions for 248 yards and five touchdowns while remaining a valuable special teams contributor for the Eagles 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 behind Ertz on the offseason roster.
However, the team is very high on the receiving ability of Brown, a former king-sized college receiver (6-foot-4, 255) 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