It’s a fairly open competition at cornerback for the Bears this offseason, and Artie Burns will get another chance to win a job.
The Bears re-signed him to a one-year contract Friday, offering an opportunity at a comeback after tearing his ACL in training camp last season. Burns, 25, has not been a full-time starter since 2017 with the Steelers.
General manager Ryan Pace’s decision to cut Kyle Fuller left the Bears with second-year cornerback Jaylon Johnson as the best player at the position, with Desmond Trufant, Duke Shelley, Kindle Vildor and Burns among those battling for spots behind him.
The Steelers drafted Burns No. 25 overall out of Miami in 2016, but he quickly fell out of favor. Opposing quarterbacks posted a 143.2 passer rating and completed 64% when they threw his way, according to Pro Football Reference, and he allowed five touchdown catches. He played just 66 defensive snaps in 2019, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the team was “disappointed, certainly,” with his lack of progress.
“Just looking at the tape… you saw a long guy that could run, would stick his nose in there in the run game,” Bears secondary coach Deshea Townsend said when they acquired him. “He’s physical, he has man-to-man ability, and that’s all we can look for.”
Burns was at his best as a rookie, when he had three interceptions, 13 pass breakups and 65 tackles.