Chicago Bears: Why Artie Burns will be a depth piece at corner

Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears added another corner to the roster today. Ryan Pace signed former first-round pick Artie Burns to a one-year deal. Burns will be a backup.

The Chicago Bears need help at cornerback now that they released Prince Amukamara. ESPN has projected Tre Roberson as the starter opposite of Kyle Fuller. Roberson was a top CFL free-agent target early in the offseason process. He was coveted by multiple teams and on paper could be the best option. Kevin Toliver who was with the Bears last season is also in the running as the day-one starter.

Today the Bears threw another corner in the mix. Artie Burns signed a one-year deal (numbers to be determined). Burns was the 25th overall pick in 2016. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned for Burns. His first season was not awful as he started nine games and recorded three interceptions. He also had 65 tackles (52 solos) that season.

Year two Burns started all 16 games. He only grabbed one interception and recorded only 54 combined tackles (47 solos). Burns then lost the starting spot in 2018. In 2018, Burns was targeted 25 times. He allowed 16 completions for a 64% completion percentage. Those 16 catches went for 289 yards, five touchdowns and a 143.2 quarterback rating.

In 2019 Burns only started one game. He was targeted four times for four catches. Those went for 52 yards, one touchdown and a perfect 158.3 quarterback rating. As you can see these are not great numbers. Burns will obviously get an opportunity to push for the starting spot, but the likelihood he gets that spot is slim.

The Chicago Bears still need to do more at this potion. I expect them to add another body on a cheap free-agent deal and also look to the 2020 NFL Draft. The problem right now with free agency is how strapped the team is for salary-cap space. Ryan Pace will likely be looking at ways to free up space by offering extensions to the likes of Allen Robinson. Teams always find a way to free up needed space it seems.

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This is not the first time the Chicago Bears have brought in a former first-round pick who seemed to have a reputation for not being good. Ryan Pace signed Ha Ha Clinton-Dix last season to a one-year deal. Clinton-Dix worked out, who is to say Artie Burns cannot find his footing here in Chuck Pagano’s defense. If I am was a betting man, I would not put much stock in that happening. My money is on Tre Roberson finding a way to outplay Toliver, but one of those two will win out.

Thoughts on the signing? Let us know in the comments.