Would Jaguars benefit from singing free-agent TE Trey Burton?

Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton #80 (Imagn Images photo pool)
Indianapolis Colts tight end Trey Burton #80 (Imagn Images photo pool) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars have done a good job of revamping their roster this offseason. However, they haven’t made major additions to their tight end room and could add Trey Burton, who is still available, before the 2021 NFL Draft if they want to add depth to the position.

Alex Kay of Bleacher Report recently wrote a list of one free agent every NFL team should sign and suggests the Jags target Burton, who played for the Indianapolis Colts in 2020. He argues that other than Chris Manhertz, this Jacksonville team hasn’t added another tight end in free agency and points out that the former Carolina Panther is more of a blocker than a deep threat.

Kay says that James O’Shaughnessy, who re-resigned this offseason, could fill the role of a pass-catching tight end, but believes that Burton is a better option. He thinks that the Florida product would be a good pickup if he can reproduce his 2018 season, when he hauled in 54 receptions for 569 yards and six touchdowns.

After going undrafted in 2014, Burton signed the Philadelphia Eagles, where he spent the first four years of his NFL career. He then signed a four-year $32 million contract with the Chicago Bears in 2018 but was released after just two seasons. He joined the Colts last offseason but is a free agent once again and hasn’t been able to find a team yet.

Since 2014, Burton has appeared in 90 games, with 30 starts, and has hauled in 159 receptions for 1,532 yards and 15 touchdowns. He gained notoriety in Super Bowl 52 for his role in the “Philly Special”, a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles. Key also points out that Burton played for Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer back in Florida, which could further his chances of signing with Jacksonville.

Trey Burton could be a fallback for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Burton is a serviceable starter but there’s a reason why he’s still available in the open market. He has caught more than 30 passes in a season just twice in his career. Also, he averaged 8.9 yards per reception in 2020 and a 6.0 mark the season before. Meanwhile, O’Shaughnessy has averaged more than 9.0 yards per catch in the last two seasons. Moreover, Burton has recently dealt with injuries and has missed 11 games since 2019.

If the Jaguars wanted to address the tight end position in free agency, they would have already done it. They could still sign Burton but it’s possible that they will target Pat Freiermuth or Brevyn Jordan in the draft and both of them would be better options than the seven-year veteran.

The Jags did a good job of adding talent to their roster this offseason but still need to take care of their tight end room. While drafting Freiermuth or Jordan may be the best course of action, Jacksonville could sign Burton, but he’s more of a short-term fix at the position.

Next. Jaguars' 3 best options in round three of the draft. dark