Nate Burleson WR CLE 2 Months

Free agent Nate Burleson says he's already been contacted by a "couple of teams," and expects to find a new home in the near future.

The Detroit News speculates the Cowboys and Bucs are two teams that could have interest. Former Lions OC Scott Linehan is now the "passing-game coordinator" in Dallas. Burleson appeared to be running on fumes after he returned from his broken arm last season, but his reliable hands and leadership will be appealing to teams looking for a reserve wideout.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 2 Months1 Comment doesn't expect free agent Nate Burleson to re-sign with the team at a reduced rate.

Per reporter Tim Twentyman, the team is ready to move on. The Lions have seen the same film we have, as Burleson appeared to have little left after returning from his broken arm last season, catching just 13 total passes over his final five games. Burleson's separation skills have been in steady decline since he first arrived in Detroit in 2010. He's near the end.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 2 Months2 Comments

Lions released WR Nate Burleson.

"It's a hard decision for them to make, but I can't blame them for making it," Burleson told the Detroit Free Press. In reality, it was a no brainer, even for a team short on receivers. Going on 33, Burleson was practically nonexistent last season, and due $5.5 million in 2014. It was an untenable sum for a team with all sorts of cap problems. Injuries have limited Burleson to just 15 combined games the past two seasons, while his separation skills have vanished. Despite all that, he intends to keep playing. Receiver was already a massive need for the Lions, but now they're perilously low on bodies, let alone skill. Tapping the fertile free-agent market or using an early-round pick on a wideout will be a must.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 3 Months expects the Lions to ask Nate Burleson to take a pay cut this offseason.

Burleson appeared in just nine games this season due to injury and is currently owed $5.5 million in 2014. With a new coaching staff coming in, he'll likely need to restructure his contract to remain with the team. The Lions are expected to upgrade their No. 2 receiver position this offseason, so Burleson could be limited to slot duties if he returns.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 4 Months

Nate Burleson caught five balls for 64 yards in the Lions' Week 17 loss to the Vikings.

Burleson missed more than a month with a fracture of his arm following an in-season car accident, and returned to provide Detroit's offense with very little stretch-run spark. Turning 33 years old next August, Burleson is owed an unwieldy $5.5 million in 2014. The Lions shouldn't be willing to take him back at that salary. It's past time Detroit took its No. 2 receiver position more seriously. Burleson would be more of an asset as a No. 3/slot man.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 4 Months

Nate Burleson caught two balls for 12 yards in the Lions' Week 16 loss to the Giants.

The Lions' entire offense changes without Calvin Johnson at 100 percent, and Burleson went down the tubes with the rest of it against the G-Men. Burleson hasn't been productive since his first game back from his pizza-arm injury, which came against a Bucs defense that's been shredded by slot receivers all season long. Owners in Week 17 fantasy leagues won't be able to trust Burleson as a WR3 against the Vikings.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 4 Months

Nate Burleson caught four passes for 51 yards in Week 15 versus Baltimore.

Burleson finished a distant second on the team behind Calvin Johnson with his six targets. His big gain was a 23-yard catch-and-run on the opening drive that helped set up Reggie Bush's 14-yard touchdown run. Burleson has been pretty disappointing over the past three weeks, leaving his as more of a WR4. He and the Lions will host the Giants in Week 16.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 5 Months3 Comments

Nate Burleson caught two passes for 18 yards in Sunday's Week 14 loss at Philadelphia.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 5 Months27 Comments

Nate Burleson was held without a catch in Detroit's Week 13 win over the Packers, drawing only one target.

One week after playing 72-of-80 snaps and drawing 10 targets, Burleson was an afterthought in the game plan, taking a backseat to Kris Durham and Jeremy Ross. It was likely by design after Burleson had such a heavy workload in his Week 12 return, but the Lions made no mention of a possible snap count during the week. It's unclear how many snaps Burleson played. Burleson's WR3 status is obviously a little murky going forward, but he has an excellent Week 14 matchup in an Eagles' pass defense that's struggled in the middle of the field. Burleson's status will be updated before next week's game.

Nate Burleson WR CLE 5 Months

Nate Burleson played on 72-of-80 snaps in Sunday's loss to the Bucs.

The Lions didn't even attempt to ease Burleson back into the mix despite the fact that it was his first game in two months. They ran three-wide sets as a base, allowing their slot man to rack up a 7/77/1 line on 10 targets. Burleson came out of the game healthy and will be a fine WR3 option against the Packers on Thanksgiving.