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.

27 Responses to “Is Nate Burleson Back In Play?”

  1. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:


  2. Macabee Says:

    This the Lovie and Licht show part deux!

  3. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Burleson has had one complete season in the last 6 seasons. Suuuure, “up tempo”.

    I see why Lovie isn’t talking about the offense. Its because there isn’t one.

  4. pablo Says:

    So we passed up on Gilden Tate in the draft, and once again pass up on him in free agency…. ummmm okay.

  5. John23 Says:

    Heck no pass!!!! Deep Draft

  6. oldfart44 Says:

    Here we go again;…he may not represent a good fit in Jeff Tedford’s mysterious offsense.

    Aren’t these people capable of drawing up something to fit the talent. I mean to say he’s just another college coach as per Schiano until he proves himself capable.

    Any Rutgers players left on the roster besides that proposed TE, Wright?

    Big time house cleaning if I ever saw one.

  7. Mitch Says:

    Bucs signed major

  8. Buccaneer Bonzai Says:

    Major Wright. A solid 3rd stringer.

    But aren’t they all?

  9. Eric Says:

    It hurts to see a championship team torn apart like this.

  10. Jerry Says:

    All this FA spending spree….
    ….and we have zero offensive weapons.

    Bears fans warned us…Lovie ignores offense.

  11. BoJim Says:

    Man, Lovie’s giving Tedford a lot to work with.

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    Buccaneer Bonzai, I suspect Lovie doesn’t want anyone knowing what his offense will look like as part of the pre-draft Liar’s Poker game.

    Everyone knows what his D will look like. The less other teams can figure out, the better L&L’s draft strategery can be implemented.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a heavy Offense draft.

  13. Oregon Buc Says:

    Last time I checked next game is August!! Praise Love train for tossing out the trash for people the community can be proud of. Wait and see after the draft!! Love the direction this team is headed on.

  14. Destinjohnny Says:

    He will be lovies Keenan Mcardell

  15. Pierce Says:

    32? Don’t know if we need another thirty-something vet in our receiver corpse.

  16. lurker Says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if this is a heavy Offense draft.


    thanks for putting that together for us.

  17. Matt Says:

    I’d prefer Santonio Holmes or Miles Austin

  18. MR.T Says:

    If they go after him he would represent a stop gap like McCown and I certainly wouldn’t pay him a lot of money. Would rather we get some good young talent in the draft than sign an oft injured old vet on the downside of career.

  19. mark2001 Says:

    Eric…what “championship team”? Is someone dismantling SF, Seattle, Denver, or Green Bay? You can’t be talking about our 4-12 team.

  20. kh Says:

    I’d take Burleson and Earl Bennett if we could get sign them to reasonable contracts.

  21. coolbreeze Says:

    bring him in for depth

  22. bigpoppabuc Says:

    What a good year to need receiver help. I would also like to get Miles Austin. V-Jax is healthy, though; and I think he can give us one more great year before he really starts to decline.

  23. JBFstalkingjohnnyfootBALLS Says:

    I see that if the Bucs don’t pick up a WR free agent soon. Joe will be linking every F.A. WR to the Bucs until draft night. This site will be linking Burleson to Micheal Clayton to the Bucs. In hopes that the Bucs draft Johnny Manziel.

  24. Hawaiian Buc Says:


    I don’t think you caught the incredibly hilarious sarcasm that Eric laid on pretty thick there. Read it one more time and I’m pretty sure you’ll get it.

  25. Bucit941 Says:

    With these recent moves. I see us trading back in the first a few slots and grabbing Eric Ebron. Then sit and wait or move up in the second round (possibly bottom of the 1st) for a falling WR ( any of the top 12 should be starters in this league) and could easily be a #2 on our team.

    Getting Ebron would allow us to move Tim Wright back to the WR position who now with TE experience can be the slot running route making the tough catches between the hashes. With strong hands and good route running he is a good fit there.

    With this scenario we can really turn this offense into a strength come August. Don’t give up hope just yet my fellow fans. We can still fix this.

  26. Owlykat Says:

    So is Burleson from Texas? Or did he ever play for Lovie or Tedford. If not Lovie needs to tell Licht to get a younger proven WR that will be a good fit for Tedford’s offense. Burleson’s best days are behind him. We don’t want to have to replace two key starting WRs next year or the year after at the same time!

  27. biff barker Says:

    Burleson >>> Hawkins.

    It’s risky to sign him now though. We might overpay since there will be the second wave of FA WR’s post draft.

    It is imperative that the Bucs draft 1-2 long term starting WR’s in this year. We’ll spend a high pick to mitigate risk, but we also need to mine a gem from the later rounds.