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OPINION: Bears Releasing Trey Burton Makes Zero Sense Financially

What financial benefits do the Bears gain by cutting Trey Burton? Not many, it seems.

Photo: Getty Images

When the Chicago Bears released Trey Burton yesterday, it was a bit surprising. Even though the Bears signed Jimmy Graham, I still thought they wouldn’t release Burton because of the financial implications. There is still some discrepancy on whether cutting Burton frees up $1 or $3 million in cap space, but either way, they’ll still be taking a dead cap hit of over 50% of his yearly salary. Financially it doesn’t make any sense.

Fans started to turn on Burton when they found out he didn’t want to throw the ball in the Chicago version of the “Philly Special” in the 2018 NYG game. It was unknown as to why he didn’t want to make the throw, but after Burton missed the playoff game against the Eagles due to an anxiety-triggered groin issue, it was pretty much over with for him. Even though he suited up for eight of the 16 games in 2019, he never seemed to be healthy and his groin issue lingered into this season. The Bears doctors thought they had it all figured out and tied his groin injury to a hip injury, and according to them, he would have been ready for training camp this year.

Photo: USA Today

Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of Burton, I still liked the idea of him and Graham in the same formations. Those two wreaking havoc along the seams and giving Mitchell Trubisky easy throws over the middle of the field had potential. With all personal feelings aside, I think anyone can admit that the offense did run a lot better with a capable tight end. Burton was just that when he was healthy. He wasn’t going to perform up to his contract, but he did pose a threat to opposing defenses.

When weighing the benefits of this move, there aren’t many financially. This leads me to believe that the coaching staff may feel a similar disdain for Burton as some of the Chicago Bears fanbase. I find it hard to believe that the front office will find someone who can produce more than a healthy Burton with the $1-$3 million cap space remaining. Maybe they’re targeting a tight end with one of their second-round picks, or maybe they like a different tight end that’s already on their roster. There is also the possibility they aren’t confident he is going to be healthy ever again, or maybe they just don’t want to let him have one of the 53 spots on the roster. We may never know the real reason(s) on why Burton was cut, but we do know he’s no longer a Chicago Bear.

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