The Bears are adding another of the players they were targeting in free agency and another weapon for quarterback Mitch Trubisky in Eagles TE Trey Burton.
The $32 million, four-year deal, which was first reported by NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, cannot become official until the league year begins at 3 p.m. (Chicago time) on Wednesday.
The Bears will also sign kicker Cody Parkey, who connected on 21 of 23 FG attempts (91.3 percent) last year for the Miami Dolphins, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The 26-year-old Parkey has converted 86.4 of his career FG tries in parts of four seasons with the Eagles, Browns and Dolphins.
The versatile and athletic Burton was overshadowed in Philadelphia by veteran tight ends Zach Ertz and Brent Celek, but he still scored five touchdowns last season on just 23 receptions for 248 yards (10.8-yard average). He will be paid as a starter with the Bears.
A year ago, the Bears signed former Miami Dolphin tight end Dion Sims to an $18-million, three-year deal in free agency, but his production was disappointing. Sims caught just 15 passes for 180 yards (12.0-yard average) and one touchdown. The Bears also spent a second-round draft choice on tight end Adam Shaheen. The Ashland University product showed only occasional flashes and finished with 12 receptions for 127 yards (10.6-yard average), although three of his receptions went for touchdowns.
The undersized (6-foot-3, 235-pound) Burton projects as a “move” tight end for the Bears, where he will be much more of pass catcher than a blocker.
Burton began his college career at Florida as a quarterback, and he played wide receiver, fullback and eventually tight end. He went undrafted in 2014 and caught just three passes for 54 yards in his first two seasons in Philadelphia. But in 2016, with Ertz missing some time, Burton had 37 receptions for 327 yards and an 8.8-yard average.
The former quarterback was involved in one of the most memorable trick plays in Super Bowl history in February, the “Philly Special.” Burton took a handoff on an apparent end-around but tossed a touchdown pass to QB Nick Foles on fourth-and-goal from the Patriots’ one-yard line.