The Chicago Bears have plucked a position player from the waiver wire and off the roster of a divisional rival.
Indeed, ESPN’s Field Yates was the first to report the Bears’ successful claim of fullback Michael Burton off waivers. Burton was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the fifth round (168th overall selection) back in 2015. As a rookie, Burton played in all 16 games, made seven starts, and earned an 80.6 grade from Pro Football Focus. The Lions scaled back Burton’s playing time in 2016, as he played in 15 games but made no starts. Burton earned a 79.3 grade from PFF, but played a total of 95 snaps.
Burton is the third fullback the Bears have had in their system in 2017. The team started the year with Paul Lasike, who was recently let go after playing 10 games and making three starts for the Bears in 2016. He was let go in favor of undrafted rookie free agent Freddie Stevenson, who was a primary blocker for Dalvin Cook at Florida State.
In order to make room on the roster for Burton, the Bears have waived tight end Franko House. The Ball State product was looking to be the latest college basketball big man to make the successful conversion to NFL tight end. Chicago seemed to be loading up on talented, athletic types at the position in an attempt to bulk up the team’s pass-catching corps, but House is no longer in the cards moving forward.