Sunday, April 6, 2014
Nate Burleson a solid addition for Browns
By Pat McManamon
Nate Burleson's contributions on and off the field could be an asset in Cleveland.
The newest version of the Cleveland Browns recognizes the importance of responsible veterans.
The team that used to be one of the youngest in the league added another 30-something player when it agreed to terms on a one-year deal with wide receiver Nate Burleson, who last played for Detroit.
In Burleson, the Browns add a respected veteran who has played for three other teams. He can provide a locker room presence, as well as contribute on the field -- provided he stays healthy.
Burleson missed 17 games the past two seasons to a broken leg and arm, but prior to those two seasons, he caught 73, 55 and 63 passes in 2011, 2010 and 2009 in Detroit (two years) and Seattle.
After returning from a broken arm in 2013, Burleson played nine games and caught 39 passes. He clearly still can be productive, and he still can be a leader. But whether he's a full-time player at the age of 33 remains to be seen.
Put him with Josh Gordon, Andrew Hawkins and perhaps a young receiver taken in the draft and the Browns have upgraded the position considerably since they were throwing to Brian Tyms at the end of last season.
Even if Burleson simply fills a role as the third or fourth wideout, his addition could help.