The Bears have released one of their most perplexing players.
Tight end Trey Burton has been cut at a cost of over $4 million in cap space this year, the team confirmed following a report by NFL Network's Mike Garafolo .
Burton after last season underwent surgery on his hip in hopes he could regain the explosion in his core that he once had. Last year he tried playing after a couple of surgeries designed to correct a problem with a groin muscle but he never could get up to speed.
The Bears eventually put him on injured reserve, then signed both Jimmy Graham and Demetrius Harris in free agency.
After the Bears signed Graham, GM Ryan Pace updated the media on the players coming off surgeries including Burton, wide receiver Anthony Miller, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and linebacker Roquan Smith. He said all were recovering on schedule.
"We've been able to keep close tabs on that and we feel real good about where those guys are heading," Pace said. "Nothing has changed from an injury update standpoint. All those guys should be ready to roll for training camp."
The Bears originally signed Burton for $32 million over four years. Burton in March 2019 had $4 million of his salary become fully guaranteed, but by cutting him with a June 1 designated date they can defer half the $5.75 guaranteed money counting against this year's cap until next year.
Nationally people will know Burton for the Philly Special, when he threw the touchdown pass on a trick play to quarterback Nick Foles for the Eagles just before halftime in the Super Bowl win after the 2017 season.
In Chicago, Burton is more known for being unavailable to play in the playoff game in 2018 against his old team for a strange injury that popped up a couple days before the game.
Burton essentially never recovered to full strength after that injury.
He finished the 2019 season with 14 receptions for 84 yards in eight games after making 54 receptions for 569 yards and six touchdowns in 2018.
Burton was due a salary of $6.7 million total this season, $2.7 million of which was not guaranteed. His prorated bonus was $1.75 million.
The move suggest the Bears may actually be positioning themselves to draft a tight end either in the second round or later, possibly Byrcen Hopkins of Purdue or Notre Dame's Cole Kmet. They have nine tight ends on the roster now with Burton gone.
Graham signed for $16 million over two years, $9 million of which was guaranteed.
They also have Ben Braunecker and Adam Shaheen, who finished last year on injured reserve.
Jesper Horsted, Dax Raymond, Eric Saubert, J.P. Holtz and Darion Clark are the other tight ends they have on the roster.
The Bears announced Holtz and guard Rashaad Coward had signed their exclusive rights free agency tender offers. Also, offensive lineman Jason Spriggs and kicker Ramiz Ahmed have been added to the roster.