Another unrestricted free agent-to-be who quietly is poised to cash in next year is Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton. Although his career has developed a bit slowly, he has come on lately as a red-zone monster for one of the league’s best teams, catching five of his six career TDs this season and four of those (as well as a two-point conversion) coming in his past five games.
Burton just turned 26 and compares somewhat favorably to a younger Delanie Walker, who only fully broke out after leaving the San Francisco 49ers and joining the Tennessee Titans before the 2013 season. Walker was two years older than Burton is now, however, and we expect Burton to earn a deal — perhaps with another team — that surprises some people.
Tight ends don’t typically cash in on the open market, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a dearth at the position and that some team seeking a seam stretcher to add to its passing mix wouldn’t be possible.
Burton’s receiving production is more in line with what Dion Sims had prior to this year, when he signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Chicago Bears that included $10 million guaranteed. But we also wouldn’t be surprised to see Burton receive something close on a per-year basis to what Coby Fleener received prior to the 2016 season with the New Orleans Saints — five years, $36 million and $18 million guaranteed.
That’s how high Burton’s stock has risen this season, according to the league sources with whom we talk.