Earlier this week we speculated with the rest of the press where Michael Burton might land after news that former Rutgers fullback Michael Burton had been placed on waivers by the Detroit Lions.
The Chicago Bears, 3rd in line to decide if they were willing to make the waiver pickup, pulled the trigger on their division rival. So fast, that all the teams OTB speculated didn’t even have a chance to land the former Scarlet Knights lead blocker and Burton himself hasn’t even updated his twitter page yet. He will surely be happy though at his football camp June 17 to talk about this along with the fight against pediatric cancer. ESPN's Field Yates was first to report Burton’s acquisition.
Why were the Bears so interested?
From a scheme perspective at a reasonable price point, the Bears expanded their offensive packages in 2016, after they did was the Lions did in 2015 going fullback-less and it backfiring. With longtime signal caller Jay Cutler now in the broadcast booth, the team will have either long-time Bucs backup Mike Glennon, the embattled Mark Sanchez, or top draft pick Mitch Trubisky under center. They will attempt to use Burton in pass protection and power run blocking to reduce pressure on the QB. In addition, Ryan Dunleavy at nj.com detailed two former Lions assistants, as well as former Scarlet Knights offensive coordinator Ben McDaniels as having the personal connections.
In Chicago, Burton joins former Scarlet Knight teammate Marcus Cooper. Cooper is now with his 3rd team in the NFL after inking a three year, $16 million deal with the Bears after a productive single season in Arizona. In one case his trade, from Kansas City to Arizona was called the “deal of the year”. Cooper was so happy to be a bear, he even typed up a personal note (below) to the fans of the team about who he is and how hard he plans to work. The Bears are becoming New Jersey West, as Burton joins the club on the day Chicago announced the addition of former Paterson Catholic standout and Super Bowl champion with the Giants, Victor Cruz. Unlike the veteran pass catcher Cruz and starting corner Cooper, Burton will surely see time on special teams.
Dear Chicago.....@ChicagoBears @BACSports pic.twitter.com/uWa39ej7wG— Marcus Cooper (@Mr_Cooper860) March 14, 2017