Chicago Bears: Should Ryan Pace cut the team’s most overpaid player?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears did not meet expectations in 2019. As the team prepares for 2020, should Ryan Pace cut the team’s most overpaid player?

Every year Bleacher Report lists every team’s most overpaid player. According to them, the most overpaid player on the Chicago Bears is Trey Burton. To be honest, I cannot disagree with Bleacher Report on this one. Burton is clearly the right answer here.

Burton signed a four year, $32 million dollar contract, of which $22 million was guaranteed. Going into the 2020 season, Burton is set to make the sixth-most amount of money in AAV among tight ends. Last season, Burton was paid $8.55 million dollars. I wanted to use the word earned, but really he did not earn a dime.

In 2019, Burton caught only 14 passes. That cost the Chicago Bears $610,714 per catch. He only gained 84 yards on the season. This means the Bears paid him $101,786 per yard in 2019. Yikes. Burton never reached the end zone in 2019 either. It was a rough year and Burton ended up on injured reserve after only playing in eight games.

If we break it down for his entire contract, things do not get that much better. If we only take his base salary into account and not the $22 million guaranteed, Burton was paid $14,475,000 for his first two years in Chicago. He has gained 653 yards during that time. This comes out to $22,167 per yard gained. In those two seasons, Burton snagged 68 balls. That comes out to $212,868 per catch. This is awful production for how much he was paid.

Now the question is, can the Bears cut Burton? The answer is yes. If the team parts ways with Burton they will save $1 million in salary-cap space. The better and more important question is should Ryan Pace cut Burton? Here is where things get tricky. Personally, I am fine with Pace cutting ties with Burton. He has not played up to his salary during his first two seasons with the Chicago Bears and honestly, I do not trust he does any better in 2020.

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That said, to only save $1 million is not really worth it. The Chicago Bears are better off holding him until next season and hope he can at least be a backup. Next offseason Ryan Pace can cut Burton and save $7 million. This makes the most sense from a business standpoint and honestly a football standpoint — even if I want him gone.