Chicago Bears: Artie Burns adds needed secondary help

Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images)
Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Katharine Lotze/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears entered free agency with a huge need at cornerback, and may have just landed the perfect replacement…

According to multiple reports, the Chicago Bears have added former Pittsburg Steelers cornerback, Artie Burns on a one-year deal. At this time financials haven’t been reported regarding the contract, but I’d assume it’s an incentivized, prove it deal for the former Miami Hurricane.

Since being drafted by the Steelers in the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, Burns has accumulated 149 total tackles, 27 pass deflections, four interceptions, one safety, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.

Burns is currently only 24-years old and possesses great upside for the cornerback position. Standing at six-feet tall and weighing just under 200 pounds, Burns flashes physically, but his real calling card is his athleticism. Burns ran a 4.46-yard 40-yard dash prior to the draft, and flashed impressive bounce by registering a 33-inch vertical jump.

Though Burns isn’t a high-level starter, I do still believe that he’s flashed enough potential to be considered the front-runner for the second cornerback job in Chicago (with Tre Roberson pushing for that spot, as well). For instance, I do believe in Burns, as I compared him to Janoris Jenkins while evaluating his college tape prior to the 2016 NFL Draft.

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One thing that always stuck out to me regarding Burns was his backstory, as his father, Artie Tyrone Burns Sr. has been out of Artie’s life since 2006 due to having to serve a 25-year sentence in South Carolina for trafficking cocaine. With that being stated, it’s easy to see that Burns has had to overcome a lot of adversity in his life, and has really risen amongst many trials and tribulations.

It’s pretty easy to see that Bears General Manager Ryan Pace is going to head into the season with a starting job on the line at corner across from Kyle Fuller. My assumption is that Burns and Roberson will be set to battle it out, along with Kevin Toliver and presumably a late-round draft pick in the mix, as well.

It’s funny to me because the Bears have completed a slew of moves to begin this offseason, and I’m not sure any of them beside the Robert Quinn signing has really made the Bears a better team heading into next season.

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Yes, it made sense to move on from the likes of Leonard Floyd and Prince Amukamara, as their cap hits just couldn’t be justified, but I’m still not sure that adding names like Jimmy Graham and Artie Burns has made the Bears more a talented team? Maybe I’m just overthinking this all, and Pace should hope I am because if Chicago strikes out on this free agency class then it may be the last one that Pace gets to oversee…