LAKE FOREST – Already this offseason, the Bears have let go of a former first rounder from the 2016 NFL Draft. On Saturday, the picked one up.
Per numerous reports, the Bears are signing cornerback and former Steeler Artie Burns to a one-year deal, adding to a secondary that will have to replace two starters this fall.
In fact, the Bears’ last two moves were to deal with vacancies in the defensive backfield, and both were with former Miami Hurricanes who entered the league in 2016
On his Instagram story today, safety Deon Bush posted video of himself and Burns getting ready to workout in the Miami area. The safety was just signed to a one-year deal this past week and will compete for the open safety spot left by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who signed with the Cowboys this week.
Both players are represented by agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Oddly enough, both players are going to get their chance to get back in the starting lineup in 2020 with the Bears like the did early in their careers.
Taken with the 25th overall pick in that 2016 NFL Draft, Burns cracked into the starting lineup his rookie year and made a career-high three interceptions for a Pittsburgh team that went to the AFC Championship Game.
He remained in that role into the 2017 season when he collected another interception and 13 passes defended, but things took a turn in 2018. He’d lose his spot with the first team early in the season and would start just six games, failing to make an interception while his tackled dropped to 22 and his passes defended to one.
It as even worse in 2019 where Burns was having trouble even seeing the field, making just eight tackles before he was a healthy scratch in the final four games.
Burns will get his shot to restart his career in Chicago, where the Bears need to replace the starting cornerback opposite of Kyle Fuller after Prince Amukamara was released. He’ll be competing with newly signed CFL player Tre Roberson along with returners Buster Skrin, Kevin Toliver, Michael Joseph, and Stephen Denmark.
Burns’ off the field story has also been told a few times since he joined the league, as the 26-year old had the responsibility helping to raise his two younger brothers. Per a story on ESPN from 2016, Burns’ father was incarcerated at age 11 and his mother died before his senior year, but embraced the challenge of helping to raise them.