The following is the fourth of eight position reviews of the Bears’ 2018 season.
The Bears targeted tight end Trey Burton in free agency last year because he possessed the traits to excel at a key position in their new offense and had experience in the scheme.
Burton did not disappoint in his first season with the team, setting career highs in all receiving categories with 54 receptions, 569 yards and six touchdowns while starting all 16 games.
Burton started to develop a rapport with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in training camp and the preseason and that cohesiveness grew during the regular season. The two connected for touchdown passes in three straight games against the Buccaneers, Dolphins and Patriots.
Trubisky’s 13-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Burton Dec. 16 versus the Packers helped lift the Bears to a 24-17 division-clinching win in Chicago.
Burton’s most productive contest came against New England Oct. 21 at Soldier Field when he established career highs with nine receptions and 126 yards.
Burton signed a four-year contract with the Bears last March after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Eagles. Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson worked with Bears coach Matt Nagy on Andy Reid’s staff with the Chiefs, and both Reid disciples run similar offenses to their mentor.
Tight end Adam Shaheen was performing well in training camp before he sustained foot and ankle injuries in a preseason game in Denver that forced him to miss the first nine regular-season contests. He eventually was activated from injured reserve and played in six games, catching five passes for 48 yards and one touchdown.
Tight end Ben Braunecker appeared in 15 games with two starts, catching three passes for 42 yards and recording three tackles on special teams.
Tight end Dion Sims played sparingly in the first eight games, catching two passes for nine yards, both in the season opener in Green Bay. He sustained a concussion Nov. 4 in Buffalo and missed the rest of the season.