The Bears signed Burton to a four-year, $32 million contract on the first day of 2018 free agency. New head coach Matt Nagy -- formerly OC for the Chiefs -- envisions Burton playing a similar pass-catching role as Kelce played for him with the Chiefs. Last season, playing as the third tight end in Philadelphia, Burton caught 23 passes for 248 yards and five touchdowns. In 2016, Burton posted career highs in receptions (37) and receiving yards (327). Burton showed his versatility by throwing a touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal in the Super Bowl. He played QB in high school and early in his college career at the University of Florida.
In four seasons, Burton has averaged a little more than 15 receptions per season. We’re not sure which one of his six career TDs screamed “$32 million!” to the Bears, but they must have seen something they liked. Chicago selected 6-foot-7 Adam Shaheen in the second round of the 2017 draft. Shaheen did not do much as a rookie (12-127), but he led the Bears in receiving touchdowns (three), and you’d think his size would continue to make him a nice red-zone option.
Burton is an intriguing option, but he’s also an unknown com-modity. We think the Bears will be a bit improved on offense, and that Burton will significantly outperform Shaheen. Burton is not likely to post numbers to rival Kelce. He is more likely to produce like Zach Miller did for the Bears before his career-ending knee injury in 2017. An output of something like 50-550 yards and four to five scores seems realistic.