Last year Burns appeared in 11 games for the Chicago Bears, making six starts. As per Pro Football Reference, the Miami native was credited with 23 tackles (19 solo), including one tackle for loss and six passes defensed. The Bears originally signed Burns in March 2020, but he suffered a torn ACL in training camp and spent the year on injured reserve.
The Bears re-signed him to another one-year deal in 2021, and though he failed to make the team’s initial 53-man roster, Chicago soon brought him back and he became a regular contributor, beginning on special teams.
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Artie Burns Was Pittsburgh’s First-Round Pick in 2016
Artie Burns came into the NFL with the Steelers after Mike Tomlin & Co. made him the team’s first-round pick in the 2016 draft (No. 25 overall) out of the University of Miami.
As a rookie, Burns flashed ability that suggested he might develop into a No. 1 cornerback. In 16 games (with nine starts), he recorded 65 tackles (52 solo), along with three interceptions and 13 passes defensed. The next year he started all 16 games and had 54 tackles (47 solo), plus one interception and another 13 passes defensed.
But it was all downhill in Pittsburgh after that; he started only seven games in the next two years as he was repeatedly burned in coverage. Things got so bad that he has since been described as the Steelers’ “biggest mistake since 2016.” And he was in such a hurry to get out of town that he abandoned his 2016 Cadillac Escalade at Pittsburgh International Airport while en route to Chicago.
Pittsburgh Used Free Agency to Address its Shortcomings at Cornerback
Ultimately, the Steelers used free agency to fill the hole in the lineup left by Artie Burns, inking Steven Nelson to a three-year, $25.5 million contract in 2019. Nelson played in Pittsburgh for two years before he was released by the Steelers last March in a cost-cutting move.
Meanwhile, the organization has continued to add other cornerbacks in free agency, including former New York Jets CB Arthur Maulet in May 2021. On March 15, 2022, NFL insider Jordan Schultz reported that the Steelers are signing ex-Bills cornerback Levi Wallace to a two-year, $8 million deal.
Vikings Re-Signing Former Steelers Punter Jordan Berry
In other news, Ari Meirov of Pro Football Focus is reporting that the Minnesota Vikings are re-signing ex-Steelers punter Jordan Berry to a one-year contract.
But the Steelers seem determined to move forward with Harvin. He returned to the starting lineup after missing two games at the end of last season due to the death of his father.
In the interim the Steelers utilized the services of Corliss Waitman, who averaged 52.1 yards per punt while Harvin was on bereavement leave. Nevertheless, the Steelers waived Waitman to make room on the roster for wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Denver Broncos went on to claim Waitman on waivers.
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