The Bears signed Fullback Michael Burton from the Detroit Lions
The Bears entered OTAs with one fullback on the roster, an undrafted rookie by the name of Freddie Stevenson. The key to the Bears offense this season will be running the football so a fullback will certainly make the roster. To prevent Stevenson from having a cakewalk to the team, the Bears decided to add in Michael Burton, waiving Franko House in a corresponding move.
Stevenson looks like an impactful, power fullback from Florida State. If it were not for the lack of need at the position, he probably would have been drafted. However, Burton has been an established starter in the NFL. Burton has been the starting fullback for the Lions in each of the past two seasons.
However, the Lions offense with Matthew Stafford does not feature a fullback nearly as often as other offenses. Burton only played 95 snaps last season, ranking 19th overall by fullbacks. His lack of a role in Detroit had him on the free market. This is where the Bears saw their chance for great competition.
It is worth noting that Franko House was the name released in the move as well. House was a very raw prospect as a former basketball player. However, this should mean the Bears knew that there is a huge learning curve for him as a football player. To give up on him so early into the preseason has to mean they are really interested in the player they are acquiring.
If Burton can win a starting job and help lead Jordan Howard to another successful season, it will be an obvious win as a tradeoff. However, this should not by any stretch rule out the chances of Stevenson making the roster. It is a long summer and we are months away from the Bears making a decision. We now just have another position to keep tabs on as we inch closer to the start of the 2017 season.