The Indianapolis Colts today signed free agent tight end Mike McFarland and waived tackle Pierce Burton.
McFarland, 6-6, 262 pounds, originally signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent on May 8, 2015. He spent the entire offseason and part of training camp with the Texans. McFarland caught one pass for nine yards in Houston’s first preseason game on Aug. 15 vs. the San Francisco 49ers. He was placed on the Texans’ Injured Reserve list on Aug. 20 and waived from the team’s Injured Reserve list on Oct. 29.
Collegiately, McFarland played 48 games (16 starts) at the University of South Florida and finished with 55 receptions for 643 yards and two touchdowns. In 2014, he started 10-of-12 games and was named Second Team American Athletic Conference by Phil Steele after compiling a career-best 27 receptions for 315 yards. McFarland ranked second on the team in receptions and third in receiving yards, while being among AAC tight end leaders in both categories. He was a Second Team AAC selection in 2013 after playing in all 12 games (six starts) and registering 23 receptions for 288 yards and a career-high two touchdowns. McFarland tied for the team lead in touchdown receptions and ranked second in receptions and receiving yards for the Bulls. He was also an asset on special teams as he blocked three field goal attempts. In 2012, McFarland saw action in all 12 games at tight end and on special teams and totaled four receptions for 32 yards. In his first season at South Florida in 2011, he appeared in all 12 games, mainly on special teams, and caught one pass for eight yards. McFarland began his collegiate career at the University of Florida in 2010 and redshirted his true freshman season before transferring to South Florida and being granted a waiver to play immediately the following season.
Burton, 6-6, 305 pounds, was signed by the Colts to a reserve/future contract on January 5, 2016. He spent the final five weeks of the 2015 regular season on the Colts practice squad after signing with the team on December 1. Burton also spent time on the Carolina Panthers (Weeks 2-11) and Atlanta Falcons (Week 1) practice squads in 2015. He originally signed with the Minnesota Vikings as an undrafted free agent on May 10, 2014 and spent training camp with the team before being released.
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