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Browns sign Burleson

April 7, 2014 - Mike McLain
The Browns signed 32-year-old receiver Nate Burleson to a one-year contract late Sunday, further strengthening their receiving corps and perhaps giving a hint of their first-round draft plans.

Burleson has played 11 combined seasons with the Vikings, Seahawks and Lions. He has 457 career receptions for 5,630 yards and 39 touchdowns. Last season he had 11 catches for 73 yards for the Lions before breaking an arm in two places in a car accident.

The Browns have now added two receivers in the free-agency signing period -- Burleson and Andrew Hawkins. The additions would seem to indicate the decision to stay away from Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth overall draft pick.

Conjecture will now focus on one of the quarterbacks -- Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater -- defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney, linebacker Khalil Mack and offensive lineman Greg Robinson.

Clowney is the most likely of the group to be gone before the Browns use their first choice -- one of seven in the first four rounds and one of two in the first round. Mack seems to be gaining prominence because of interest shown by coach Mike Pettine and his need to add a few more pieces to what could be a good defense.

Burleson will fill the hole that was created when Davone Bess was waived after a series of off-the-field problems. Bess was acquired in a trade with the Miami Dolphins during the 2013 draft.

A possession receiver, Burleson will complement deep threat Josh Gordon, who has developed into one of the NFL's elite receivers. Burleson's best season was in 2009, when he caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns.

Burleson had a career-high 73 receptions for 757 yards and three touchdowns in 2011.


Article Comments



Apr-07-14 6:07 PM

Did you know that recipients of college scholarships get a special exemption from having to pay income taxes on the value of their college provided benefits. The IRS even has a rule that gives this exemption to those on athletic scholarships.

If the NLRB ruling, that Northwestern football players on football scholarships are EMPLOYEES, is upheld on appeal, then those players are going to have big tax bills for their "free" educations. A Northwestern full rider would be paying taxes on over $60,000 a year. In fact, if these Northwestern players win the right to be classified as employees for unionization purposes, then logically all college athletes on scholarship in America would have to pay income taxes on their free rides.

Those that think the NLRB ruling is a slam dunk for the "exploited" players better think twice.


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