March 05, 2010
Good news for free agent wide receivers: You apparently don't have to be very good to get a huge paycheck. John Clayton is reporting that Nate Burleson's new deal with the Detroit Lions is worth $25 million, with $11 million guaranteed.
He caught 63 balls for 812 yards last year, and that's good. Those are very respectable numbers, especially coming on a Seattle team that you wouldn't call "offensively gifted." And if there were any indication that Burleson could give you that kind of production every year, I might like this deal a little more from the Lions perspective.
But those 63 receptions brought Burleson's total as a Seahawk up to 136 -- over four years. Burleson's been in the league seven years, and he's had more than 60 catches a season exactly twice. He's eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark once.
The best thing I can say about the signing is that it fills a need for Detroit. Not particularly well, but it does fill it. Matthew Stafford(notes) desperately needs another option in the passing game opposite Calvin Johnson(notes), and neither Bryant Johnson(notes) or Dennis Northcutt(notes) should be anything more than a third receiver.
I hope I'm wrong, and I hope it works out well for the Lions. I'd love to see them develop a potent offense. I just don't see Nate Burleson as the guy who can do that for them.
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