Trey Burton will always be a hero in Philadelphia. He’ll always be the guy who helped pull off one of the most magical plays in Super Bowl history. He’ll always be the player who worked his way up from an undrafted rookie to a fan favorite.
So it’s unfortunate he might be leaving Philadelphia with a slightly bad taste in his mouth.
Burton, who has agreed to a four-year, $32 million deal with the Bears, a league source confirmed (see story), joined the WIP afternoon show on Tuesday and was asked about the conversations his agent had with the Eagles about possibly retaining him.
Those conversations apparently didn’t get too far.
“Nah, I was really disappointed, man, honestly,” Burton said. “If I’m going to be open and transparent, I was really disappointed there wasn’t any offer. Didn’t even seem like they were really trying to make it happen. In reality, you can make anything happen if you really want to. That was my mindset. I’m really disappointed in that. It kind of hurt me a little bit.
“But I’m excited about where I’m going and where we’re heading. I think it’s a great fit for us. Really good days are on the horizon.”
In some ways, Burton is right. If the Eagles really wanted to retain him, they could have prioritized moving money around to fit him in. But Burton’s new deal with Chicago will pay him $8 million annually, making him the fifth-highest-paid tight end in the NFL. Well, the Eagles already have one guy above him on that list in Zach Ertz. And with Ertz and Brent Celek (who was released on Tuesday) also on the roster, Burton played just 27 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps in 2017.
So it just wasn’t in the Eagles’ best interest to throw this kind of money at Burton.
It’s unclear if the Eagles made a run at Burton during the 2017 season, but they did try to sign him during the 2016 season. Instead, the Eagles placed a second-round tender on him as an RFA to keep him in the building and push off his inevitable free agency.
While Burton admitted he was hurt about the lack of attempt to re-sign him from the Eagles, he said he’ll always be an Eagle at heart and he made sure to thank the organization for giving him his start. Burton, who lives in the Tampa area, threw out the first pitch at the Phillies’ spring training game on Tuesday.
“My agent and I thought it was a good idea,” Burton said. “Like a final farewell to Philadelphia. It was really cool.”