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March 04, 2017

Report: Eagles will tender restricted free agent TE Trey Burton at second-round level

Eagles NFL

According to Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, the Philadelphia Eagles will tender restricted free agent tight end Trey Burton at the second-round level.

Burton is a special teams standout, and at a minimum, a quality third tight end who has the potential to do a variety of things in the offense. In 2016, Burton had 37 receptions for 327 yards and 1 TD. On special teams, he had eight tackles and two forced fumbles. In 2015, he had 13 tackles (a high number).

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This offseason, Burton is a restricted free agent. Here's brief summary of restricted free agents, via ProFootballTalk:

Restricted free agents can be held in place through the application of one of three tenders. The lowest level provides a right of first refusal. The second-round tender provides a right of first refusal and (duh) a second-round pick as compensation if the original team doesn’t match. The first-round tender carries a right of first refusal and a first-round pick as compensation.

Last year, the tender amounts were as follows, and should increase a bit in 2017:

Right of first refusal Second-round tender First-round tender 
$1.671 million $2.553 million $3.635 million 

The Eagles were certain to tender Burton. It was only a matter of whether they would do so at the "right of first refusal" level or at the "second-round" level. My guess would have been that the Eagles were likely to tender Burton at the "right of first refusal" level, and take a calculated risk that some team didn't try to overpay him. Typically, teams are not keen on the idea of negotiating a contract for a player only to have the original team match the offer.

The Eagles are paying their tight ends quite a bit, in indeed they are tendering Burton at the second-round level. Here are the Eagles' tight end cap numbers through 2021:

Player 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 
 Zach Ertz$5,600,000 $9,600,000 $9,100,000 $8,850,000 $7,750,000 
 Brent Celek $5,000,000$5,000,000 UFA   
 Trey Burton $2,800,000 (est)UFA    
TOTAL $13,400,000 (est) $14,600,000 $9,100,000 $8,850,000 $7,750,000 

By placing the second-round tender on Burton, any team that wants to sign him would have to fork over a second-round pick, which is not going to happen. In other words, expect to see Burton back with the Eagles in 2017.

To note, yes we see that Howe also reported that the Eagles are trying to trade Mychal Kendricks in the same tweet. PhillyVoice reported that the Eagles would be shopping Kendricks a month ago, and it has been subsequently re-reported several times by other news outlets since. (We just wanted to offer an explanation why we are only focused on the Burton news here).

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