Is Nate Burleson Back In Play?April 4th, 2014
Seven weeks ago the Bucs and veteran free agent wide receiver Nate Burleson were linked via a Detroit Free-Press story.
Things were quiet for Burleson when free agency heated up in March, but that’s changed now. Often, movement will come late on a quality veteran who won’t play for peanuts, and after the market settles, and as teams want all their key acquisitions to arrive before the team players report for duty in April.
The Miami Herald reported Burleson was visiting the Dolphins today. Other reports have him heading to Cleveland soon.
Burleson, 32, is the same guy who returned from eight weeks off following a pizza-induced injury to catch seven balls (one touchdown) against the Buccaneers last season. Detroit cut him because he was due about $5 million this year. Burleson earned that money following successful years in Minnesota and Seattle, and as a fan favorite in Detroit.
Given the sorry depth currently in the Bucs’ receiving corps, Joe thinks Burleson’s 457 career catches look pretty good, and he caught 39 balls in half a season last year. That’s not too shabby.
Joe hopes the Bucs are exploring Burleson. Why not? Lovie Smith insists the Bucs should spend to the max, and there’s surely plenty of money laying around to sign Burleson if they like what they see.
Longtime NFL scout Chris Landry was very high on Burleson while speaking on WDAE-AM 620 this afternoon.
As for Lavelle Hawkins, a possible new Bucs receiver, Landry pegged him to be at best a “No. 4” receiver in the NFL. Burleson is better than that, though he may not represent a good fit in Jeff Tedford’s mysterious offense.