Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Artie Burns

Chicago Bears sign former Steelers cornerback Artie Burns

  • Artie Burns
  • Chicago Bears
  • nfl free agency
By Donnie Zelaya March 21, 2020 0 Comment
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The Chicago Bears sign former first-round cornerback Artie Burns to a one year contract, filling the opening created by the release of Prince Amukamara.

It’s the point of free agency where you can expect a flurry of 1-2 year deals. Players and agents are always on the lookout for the best financial deal, but when days start to pass, and roster spots begin to fill, money options turn into best scenarios to showcase talent. Where better for a defensive player, especially one in the secondary, to display their chops than with the Chicago Bears.

Artie Burns and the Chicago Bears came to terms on a one year deal that thrusts the former Pittsburgh Steeler first-round draft choice into the starting competition opposite Kyle Fuller. Artie Burns joins UDFA Kevin Tolliver and recent Canadian Football League signing Tre Roberson as the trio who will compete for an open cornerback spot.

Drafted number 25 overall by the Steelers in 2016, Burns was an unheralded selection out of the University of Miami. The fifth cornerback selected that year (Jalen Ramsey, Eli Apple, Vernon Hargreaves, and William Jackson), all of which, save one (Jackson) are no longer with their original draft team.

Burns never got on track with Steelers. He snared two interceptions with thirteen passes defended in his first full season as a starter in 2017. The next season saw a drastic drop in his play as he eventually lost his starting position to Coty Sensabaugh. It could be off the field issues that could have distracted Burns, impacting his play on the field.

In 2015, Burns’ mother, Dana Smith, died unexpectedly of a heart attack. The loss left Artie as the guardian and sole supporter of his two teenage brothers. This event most likely had a significant impact on his decision to leave school early. In addition to raising his adolescent brothers, Burns also took on the burden of trying to prove his father’s innocence in a cocaine smuggling arrest from 2006.

Whatever the reason, Burns is getting his second chance to prove the doubters wrong with the Bears. Chicago has already signed Robert Quinn earlier in free agency, providing another legitimate pass-rushing threat opposite All-Pro Khalil Mack. Add in a healthy Akiem Hicks, and Eddie Goldman in the middle of the line and the Bears pass rushers will no doubt provide more interception opportunities for the secondary. Burns is gambling on it, as Chicago will continue to be more of an attraction than a destination.

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