Bleacher Report's churning out the predictions this week, and their latest Bears' guess is nowhere nearly as rosy as their Anthony Miller prediction.
In 2018, the Bears signed Trey Burton to a four-year deal worth $32 million, but it's fair to say they haven't gotten the production they hoped for. In two seasons in Chicago, Burton has caught just 68 passes for 653 yards and six touchdowns. He missed a significant amount of time in 2019 with injuries, but even when he was healthy, he was overmatched as a No. 1 tight end.
With the Bears' signing of Graham, it's likely Burton won't be back in his starting role in 2020. An outright release of Burton doesn't make a ton of sense as it would only save the Bears $1 million in cap space and cost them $7.5 million in dead money. Instead, they could spread the cap savings over two years if they designate him a June 1 cut. That would free up nearly $3 million in cap space, a significant difference considering how cash-strapped they are.
While the bet here is that Burton's on the roster for Week 1, the author makes a good point regarding the June 1 cut. Back at the Combine in late February, here's what GM Ryan Pace had to say about Burton's progress:
"It’s been positive. Our hope is that we finally kinda solved the issue and that there’s an upward trajectory now with him. That’s our hope. We’ll see when the players get back in April."
I'm not sure what that is, but it's definitely not great! Consider some of the more strongly-worded assurances that Pace has given which, actually, turned out not to be true, and then go re-read that quote. Still, injuries have hampered the Bears ability to get an extended look at whether Burton is the right tight end for Nagy's offense, and unless they want to target someone high in the draft and have him immediately content for the starting job (which is possible! don't yell at me!), it feels like Burton's not going anywhere.