Browns cut veteran WR Nate Burleson

August, 30, 2014
Aug 30
1:06
PM ET
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Even though they are desperate for proven, reliable wide receivers, the Cleveland Browns have cut 12-year veteran Nate Burleson, a source confirmed to ESPN on Saturday morning.

Burleson
Burleson
Burleson, 33, signed with the Browns in the offseason but was plagued throughout training camp by a hamstring injury. He missed Cleveland's first three preseason games, then played Thursday night against Chicago, catching one pass for 27 yards.

It was not enough.

With Josh Gordon suspended for the season, the Browns' weakest position group on the roster is wide receiver. Burleson certainly is no Gordon, but he made 457 career receptions for 5,630 yards and 39 touchdowns while playing for Minnesota, Seattle and, most recently, Detroit.

The move begs the question of whether the Browns have interest in someone else, either via a trade or after other teams make their cuts. A team spokesman said he could not confirm that Burleson had been cut.

Asked on Friday whether Burleson had secured a roster spot for himself after playing against the Bears, Cleveland coach Mike Pettine was noncommittal.

"I'm not going to talk on individual players here," Pettine said. "We're still working through the whole evaluation with the position coaches and with the coordinators. I'm not going to comment on a specific player's status at this point."

The Browns' receiving corps, as of now, includes Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins, Taylor Gabriel, Travis Benjamin and Willie Snead. Austin twice topped 1,000 receiving yards during his eight seasons with Dallas, but in only 11 games last season he finished with 24 catches for 244 yards. Hawkins played the previous three seasons for Cincinnati. Benjamin is in his third season in Cleveland and caught only five passes for 105 yards last season. Gabriel and Snead are rookies.

Asked on Friday if he felt confident going into Week 1 against Pittsburgh with the receivers he had on the roster, Pettine said he did.

"We'll feel confident," Pettine said. "We'll feel confident with the guys that we have and if we get a chance to improve this football team over the next two days then we will. If we don't, then we will feel very confident with the group we're taking to Pittsburgh."

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