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March 14, 2018

Trey Burton says he's 'disappointed' Eagles didn't try to retain him

NFL Eagles
030318_Trey-Burton_usat Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports, File

Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton.

Former Eagles tight end Trey Burton was an instrumental piece of arguably the most historic play in the history of Philadelphia sports, tossing a touchdown to Nick Foles in Super Bowl LII to enshrine the legend of the Philly Special.

Burton, 26, will sign a four-year, $32 million deal with the Chicago Bears when the NFL's free agency period formally begins this afternoon. Most observers, weighing the Eagles' cap situation and strength at the tight end position, had assumed Burton would receive offers the Eagles couldn't match.

A soft league-wide market for free agent tight ends, most of them aging veterans, also put Burton in prime position to maximize his value. 

On Tuesday, Burton took to Instagram to say farewell to Philadelphia. He also joined Sportsradio 94WIP and expressed his disappointment that the Eagles didn't attempt to find a way to keep him in town.

"I was really disappointed, man, honestly," Burton said. "If I'm going to be open and transparent, I was really disappointed that there wasn't any offer. It didn't really seem like they were even trying to make it happen. In reality, you can make anything happen if you really want to. And so, that was my mindset, and I’m really disappointed in that. It kind of hurt me a little bit.”

Burton, first signed by the Eagles as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2014, stepped up in a big way last season during the two games missed by starting tight end Zach Ertz. His reported deal with Chicago came prior to the Eagles' release of veteran tight end Brent Celek, which signals that the team will be looking to fill an important hole behind Ertz. Celek and Burton had provided a dependable combination of blocking and receiving skills that gave the Eagles depth behind their Pro Bowler.

Despite the outcome and other losses in free agency, Burton said he thinks the Eagles are in strong position to contend for years to come.

"They've built this thing really well and they built it for the long haul," Burton said. "You know, it's going to be really interesting. I'm going to be watching. Some of my best friends still play for the team and so I'm still their biggest fans. I wish them nothing but the best and no hard feelings."

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