Lions ink Burleson; Johnson Out?

The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with veteran free-agent wide receiver Nate Burleson, according to Scout.com.

The Detroit Lions have agreed to terms with veteran free-agent wide receiver Nate Burleson, according to Scout.com.

Orignally drafted by Minnesota in 2003, Burleson spent the past four seasons in Seattle, posting his most productive year in 2009 when he accrued 63 catches for 812 yards.

That impressive campaign came one season after Burleson tore his ACL, missing almost all of 2008.

He drew interest from several teams in the free-agent market, including Kansas City, Chicago, Baltimore, and Tampa Bay, among others.

Burleson's addition likely spells the end of the Bryant Johnson era in Detroit, which may have only lasted one season. Johnson was signed last February to a three-year, $9 million contract, but failed to help alleviate pressures on the oft-double teamed Calvin Johnson.

Bryant Johnson collected just 35 receptions in 16 starts for the Lions in 2009, and drew the ire of the coaching staff and fans alike with his inconsistent pass catching and failure to get separation from opposing defensive backs.

Burleson has a reputation for exploiting defenses geared towards stopping one receiver. With Randy Moss the primary target in Minnesota, Burleson eclipsed Moss's reception total (a career best 68 to Moss's 49) in 2004.


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