Around The Trade Block: Titans WR Treylon Burks

The Titans have said a lot about former first-round WR Treylon Burks this offseason as he enters a pivotal third season with an entirely new regime in charge than the one that drafted him in 2022. 


The Titans’ actions speak the loudest by far, however. Tennessee prioritized not only adding Ridley to a monster contract in free agency but also signed veteran slot WR Tyler Boyd after the draft to reunite the former Bengal with Callahan, pushing Burks down to at least fourth on the depth chart. Burks took reps as a gunner on special teams during OTAs and minicamp and Callahan said contributing on special teams would be crucial for Burks to earn an active roster spot

That suggests Burks is fighting for a roster spot with guys like Nick Westbrook-Ikhine, Kyle Phillips, Colton Dowell and sixth-round rookie Jha’Quan Jackson. If Callahan and GM Ran Carthon thought Burks was poised for a breakout season, he’d look like a bigger part of their plans. Unfortunately this isn’t surprising, as new regimes cast aside players all the time for “their guys,” even former first-round picks like Burks. 

Burks has had a modest start to his career so far after being taken with the pick the Titans got for trading WR A.J. Brown to the Eagles. The expectations of replacing a player like Brown would have been unfair to put on most young wideouts but it was even worse for Burks because of how much development he needed coming out of Arkansas. He ran a limited route tree in college and even though he looked like a terrific athlete on tape, his Combine testing did not live up to the hype. He was not ready to be a primary “X” receiver who could dominate press man coverage from the jump. 


As a rookie, Burks had 33 catches for 444 yards and one touchdown in 11 games. Injuries were an issue, as he battled through turf toe and a gnarly concussion. Those continued in his second season, as Burks sprained his LCL in training camp and then injured his patella early in the year. He came back for two games but left in the second with another concussion. His second year was even worse than his first with a final line of 16 catches for 221 yards. 

It hasn’t all been bad. Burks went over 100 yards in a game against the Packers as a rookie and was off to a promising start in camp last year before his injury kneecapped his momentum. Combined with his draft pedigree as a former first-round pick, there’s enough to intrigue other teams — which is good because barring some kind of surprise, all signs point to Burks being finished in Tennessee sooner rather than later. 

Burks is owed a shade over $2 million this year and $2.66 million in 2025, all of it guaranteed. There’s also a potential fifth-year option on the contract that is due next May. Overall, Burks is cheap but also not a minimum contract player, so that will be a factor for teams when gauging his trade value. The best the Titans could hope for is a fourth or a fifth-round pick, perhaps with some kind of swap going back. Training camp is the timeline to watch for a deal as the back end of the receiving corps starts to work itself out in Tennessee. 


As far as teams who could be interested in Burks, the obvious factor is a need at wide receiver. Burks was drafted recently enough that his prospect profile will still weigh heavily with teams, so organizations who liked Burks a lot as a prospect will be among those with greater trade interest. He had around 10 official visits when he was coming out of college in 2022. 

Here are the best potential trade fits for the Titans and Burks: 


Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has shown a willingness to take a chance on former high draft picks in the past and it doesn’t hurt that Burks is one of the best players to come out of Arkansas — Jones’ alma mater — in a few years. Dallas was one of the teams to host Burks for an official “top 30” visit in 2022 and also met with him for a formal interview at the Combine. 

The Cowboys ultimately took WR Jalen Tolbert in the third round in 2022 but he has failed to distinguish himself so far and the team is a little lacking for weapons around WR CeeDee Lamb. Burks would compete with Tolbert to start in three-receiver sets. He’d also add a little bit more of a physical, power-forward dynamic to Dallas’ wideout group. 



The Jets were doing extensive homework on the receiver class in 2022 and ultimately settled on Garrett Wilson with the No. 10 overall pick. But Burks was another player they had in for an official visit and looked into drafting. It’s safe to say they made the right call. 

Now there’s a chance they could get both. New York already has its Plan A for its starting three receivers with Wilson, third-rounder Malachi Corley and former Chargers WR Mike Williams. But Williams is recovering from a torn ACL and is only signed for one year. Burks would upgrade the depth behind those three and give the Jets another young option to try to develop into a future starter. 

Burks is kind of a blend between Corley and Williams, with the size and length to be a jump-ball threat like Williams and the athleticism to be a physical weapon after the catch like Corley. Since the 2022 draft, the Jets have added several former Tennessee coaches, most notably former Titans OC Todd Downing, who were part of the group that drafted Burks. That connection could reinforce the fit if the Jets had a solid enough grade on Burks as a prospect. 



In an ESPN article about Burks as a prospect, there was an anecdote about how the Giants were enamored with Burks’ hobby of hog-hunting — no guns allowed. The piece notes Burks met with “everyone” which presumably includes HC Brian Daboll and GM Joe Schoen, but they went a different direction with their two first-round picks in the top ten and Burks wasn’t on the board in the second round when they elected to address their need at receiver. 

The Giants have used second, third and first-round picks on WRs Wan’Dale Robinson, Jalin Hyatt and Malik Nabers in the past three drafts Daboll and Schoen have run but they could still use more weapons on offense. Burks also brings a blend of size, physicality and athleticism that the Giants don’t have in their receiver room right now. With two more years left on his rookie deal, he’d be another young, affordable option. 

In addition to the positive first impression it seems that Burks made on the Giants’ brass, there have since been more connections. Former Titans interim GM Ryan Cowden is a good friend of Schoen’s and part of the front office in New York now. Former Titans OC Tim Kelly is the TE coach for Daboll, and former Titans DC Shane Bowen holds the same role for the Giants now. Some of these men might not have worked a ton with Burks, but they’ll be able to give the Giants insight into the person they’re getting and how Burks has fared behind the scenes even if the success on the field hasn’t come yet. 



The Lions brought Burks to Detroit for a visit before the draft but ended up trading up for WR Jameson Williams instead as they fortified their receiving corps. Williams has had a slow start to his career due to an ACL injury and a gambling suspension but the reports this spring have been positive. He’ll push for a role behind WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, TE Sam LaPorta and the running back duo of Jahmyr Gibbs and David Montgomery

The depth behind St. Brown in Detroit’s receiving corps isn’t great but the team manages because anyone other than St. Brown is going to be at best fourth in the pecking order for targets. That said, if the Lions wanted to take a stab at upgrading the depth, a trade for Burks could make sense. He wouldn’t cost much, there’s some upside as a former first-round pick and he brings a different dynamic to the group. It would essentially be a repeat of the team’s trade for Donovan Peoples-Jones, who is still on the roster but not a lock to make the team. 

In terms of connections, aside from the draft visit with Burks, the Lions also hired former Titans DL coach Terrell Williams this offseason. He didn’t coach Burks directly but he would give some behind-the-scenes insight into how Burks has operated as a professional. 



Like a lot of the teams who had Burks in for a “top 30” visit, the Saints ended up going a different direction in the first round by selecting Chris Olave. Fast forward a few years and Olave is a budding star but New Orleans is still looking to build out the rest of the room around him. Former UDFA Rashid Shaheed is lined up for a bigger role as a deep threat and after that the Saints are counting on a mix of late-rounders and former UDFAs. 

The most promising of those is 2023 sixth-round WR A.T. Perry, who is a Gumby-framed athlete with a big catch radius. He scored four touchdowns as a rookie in a rotational role but hasn’t seized the opportunity so far based on OTA reports. Burks would be another big-bodied, physical option with more pedigree. Crucially for the Saints and their salary cap situation, he’s under contract for two more years on his rookie contract and is cheap. 

Honorable Mentions



Few teams have invested as much in their receiving corps as the Browns over the past few years but the results have not followed quite yet. The Browns love to go after players with good pedigree who are available at a discount and Burks fits that mold. He’s also under contract for two years which is notable since both Browns WRs Amari Cooper and Elijah Moore are in contract years. Former Titans HC Mike Vrabel is consulting with the Browns and represents a notable connection should Cleveland be interested. 

However, the receiving corps is crowded enough right now that it’s hard to see room for Burks. He’d probably slot behind Cooper, Moore and Jerry Jeudy, and the team also has David Bell and Cedric Tillman who they’ve drafted in the third round in 2022 and 2023. Burks would give the team another body but perhaps not an upgrade. 


Carolina isn’t exactly in a spot where it can afford to turn its nose up at skill position talent. Burks fits the “dawg” mentality that GM Dan Morgan has said he wants to imbue the roster with and Panthers WR coach Rob Moore held the same role with the Titans for Burks first two seasons. The Panthers have taken shots on perceived “busts” before as well in trades. 


That said, Burks would probably overlap too much with players like first-round WR Xavier Legette and 2023 second-round WR Jonathan Mingo. All three are big-bodied wideouts with outstanding athleticism and above-average run-after-catch ability for their size. All three also can struggle with the nuances of the position. All three need development but would cannibalize the available reps to do so on the same roster. 


Not only did the Cardinals host Burks for a visit, but current GM Monti Ossenfort was one of the top personnel executives in Tennessee when the Titans selected Burks. There’s no doubt Arizona knows Burks well. However, it’s not clear where Burks would fit in the Cardinals’ receiving corps. No. 4 pick Marvin Harrison Jr. is the headliner and 2023 third-round WR Michael Wilson has a strong hold on the No. 2 job. The team re-signed slot WR Greg Dortch and has veterans Zach Pascal, Zay Jones and Chris Moore to round things out. 

Perhaps if the price for Burks dips low, the Cardinals might consider a deal. At the moment, though, it looks like they’ve already made their plans and are happy with the receiver room. 



There’s not a clear connection to Burks for the Vikings, either on the coaching staff or in the front office, and they were not one of the teams to show significant interest in Burks during the draft process — at least not anything that was leaked. But the Vikings have one of the biggest existing needs for help at receiver of any team right now. The top two spots on the depth chart are in good hands with Justin Jefferson and Jordan Addison, but the No. 3 spot is wide open. That’s a problem for Vikings HC Kevin O’Connell who tends to operate out of 11 personnel (three receivers) as his base offense. 

Burks hasn’t necessarily proven he’s a better option than Brandon Powell, Jalen Nailor or Trent Sherfield but he was talented enough to be a first-round pick. There’s a case to be made for the Vikings to take a swing on some upside like that. 

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