The Cleveland Browns have agreed to a one year contract with wide receiver Nate Burleson. The veteran has played in 135 games over 11 seasons with the Vikings, Seahawks, and more recently, the Lions, who released Burleson for salary cap reasons.

There are concerns about his health as he has only played 15 games in the past two seasons. A broken leg caused Burleson to miss ten games in 2012 while a broken arm and a car crash forced the wide out to miss seven games last year.

Despite health issues, the 12 year veteran brings 457 career receptions, 5,630 yards, and 43 touchdowns to Cleveland. Burleson is a reliable weapon to add to the roster. The wide out is not guaranteed to make the team, but I hope he does. It’s a fact that Burleson owns one of the highest reception rates, 73.6%, with Matthew Stafford passing to him.

Then again, Cleveland doesn’t possess a Matthew Stafford, but hopefully that won’t matter. The Browns will draft their franchise quarterback in May. So whether it will be Brian Hoyer or a rookie, Burleson will be dependable. The wide receiver has sure hands, helping him move the chains when his number is called.

The 32 year old will serve as a mentor to Josh Gordon, Greg Little, and Brian Hawkins. Burleson’s veteran presence will be needed in the locker room as it was in Detroit. The 12 year veteran was the voice on and off the field for the Lions. The wide out was responsible for pre-game speeches as well as providing a voice in the locker room.

Although this may be true, this is only a temporary solution to fill a wide receiver spot. This does however make the Cleveland Browns draft plans more mysterious. It is now questionable if Cleveland will draft a receiver with the fourth pick or even the 26th pick.

However, it is still a possibility to draft Sammy Watkins at four despite the one year deal with Burleson. As I’ve stated in the past, Watkins will be an insurance policy should Gordon attain a suspension, so the youngster will need a mentor. Sammy Watkins should be a Cleveland Brown, but I lack the authority to make it happen.

– Max Gold

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