One day after Andrew Beck moves on, Broncos find a replacement at fullback
Mar 14, 2023, 8:15 PM | Updated: 8:22 pm
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Just because the Broncos didn’t bring back Andrew Beck didn’t mean the Broncos wouldn’t have a fullback. New coach Sean Payton values the position.
And just a day after Beck agreed to terms with the Houston Texans, Payton turned to his past to fill the void. Tuesday night, the Broncos agreed to terms with Mike Burton on a 1-year deal. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport first reported the move.
Fullback news! The #Broncos are signing FB Mike Burton to a 1-year deal, source said. He reunites with Sean Payton, who he was with in New Orleans.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2023
Burton played for the New Orleans Saints during the 2020 season. That season, Burton posted a career-high single-season total in yards from scrimmage: 57. That tally shows that the Broncos didn’t target him for his skills with the football.
Indeed, most of Burton’s work has been as a run blocker. According to the data compiled by Pro Football Focus, 65.4 percent of his career snaps have been in that role.
Sweetening the deal is Burton’s special-teams prowess. He’s been a core special teamer for most of the teams on which he’s played. In three of the last four seasons, he played at least 50 percent of the special-teams snaps. Last year for the Chiefs, he logged a career-high 8 special-teams tackles.
Burton spent the last two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs. The Broncos are his sixth team. He preceded his Chiefs stint with hitches in Detroit, Chicago, Washington and, in 2020, New Orleans.
The 31-year-old Burton also continues a power-based makeover of the Denver offense. Since the “legal tampering” period began Monday, the Broncos have added two starting offensive linemen in Ben Powers and Mike McGlinchey, a blocking tight end in Chris Manhertz and a running back in ex-Bengals ballcarrier Samaje Perine.
Payton is sending a message with these moves: Power football is back in Denver.