There’s not a lot of demand, usually, for a 13-year veteran wide receiver who has just been released. But Nate Burleson can still be effective in smaller roles with enough talent and experience to attract interest from the Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, Oakland Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, Indianapolis Colts & St. Louis Rams
Burleson was released by the Detroit Lions before the weekend after four seasons with the team, with the last two of them coming with their share of problems: He missed 10 games in 2012 due to a broken leg and hut his forearm last season in a freak injury, resulting in seven missed games.
He was reasonably productive when he did play for the Lions last season, catching 39 receptions for 461 yards with one touchdown passes resulted in a 51.2 yards per game average, his best numbers since leaving the Seattle Seahawks to join the Lions in 2010.
Burleson will be 33 by the time next season begins, and obviously won’t be making any roster unless it’s on a minimum, short-term deal, but he is probably aware of that and is willing to do anything to remain in the NFL, a league that is more and more anti “old people”. Scott Linehan, the Cowboys’ new passing game coordinator and playcaller, makes the Cowboys probably the number one potential destination for Burleson, as they might really need a third-option to help Tony Romo out. Linehan was with the Lions while Burleson played there.
Other teams need plenty of help when it comes to some extra receiving talent, even without previous connections to Burleson. The Baltimore Ravens who didn’t give Joe Flacco much support last season, the Oakland Raiders in their constant rebuilding status, the Kansas City Chiefs who need to give Alex Smith a more talented group to work with, the Carolina Panthers who don’t have much to offer Cam Newton, the rising Indianapolis Colts and the St. Louis Rams are all teams who could do a lot worse than Burleson, but unless it’s a veteran’s minimum and even then, he might have to wait until after the draft to find himself a place for the 2014 season.