According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Cleveland Browns have reached an agreement with free-agent wide receiver, Nate Burleson.
Burleson, 32, who played the last four years with the Detroit Lions, is a twelve-year veteran who played also played with the Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings. Drafted by the Vikings in the third round out of Nevada in 2003, the 6’, 198-pound Burleson suffered a broken arm in a one-car accident while playing for the Lions when he attempted to keep a pizza from sliding from the passenger seat of his car. Burleson would miss seven games and catch 39 passes for 401 yards.
With the signing of Burleson, this gives the Browns a proven and veteran playmaker opposite Pro Bowl wide out Josh Gordon, but at the age of 32, some fans may wonder; what does he bring to Cleveland and does he have anything left?
Clearly, with this signing, the Browns have a plan in place to surround projected starter Brian Hoyer with quality and speedy targets, as they also were able to poach new slot receiver Andrew Hawkins from the rival Cincinnati Bengals.
Whether or not he’ll ever be able to replicate his career-best season of 68 catches, 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns of 2004 is a stretch, but in added a proven veteran in Burleson, the Browns can hypothetically pass on Sammy Watkins and draft another wide out just as talented in later rounds such as Jordan Matthews, Davante Adams, Brandin Cooks or Allen Robinson.
Whether or not that is the direction the Browns take, the signing of Burleson provides added depth on offense and signals the end of Greg Little and Josh Cooper, as neither have lived up to expectations.
For now, the Browns have scored another free agent sleeper gem in Burleson, who will offer a much-needed veteran presence on offense and a knack for big plays that has sorely been needed in Cleveland.
Robert D. Cobb Is the CEO/Founder/Senior Editor-In-Chief of the InscriberMag : Digital Magazine and a member of the PFWA(Pro Football Writers Association), please follow him on Twitter at @RC_TheInscriberMag