The Cleveland Browns' busy offseason continued Sunday, as they agreed to terms with veteran wide receiver Nate Burleson.
ESPN's Adam Schefter has the news:
Former Lions WR Nate Burelson reached agreement on a one-year deal with the Cleveland Browns, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 7, 2014
The Browns later confirmed the news:
#Browns agree to terms with veteran free agent Nate Burleson, GM Ray Farmer announced Sunday night.— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) April 7, 2014
In nine games last season, the 11-year pro tallied 39 catches for 461 yards and one touchdown for the pass-happy Detroit Lions. Although he's 32 years old and approaching the latter portion of his career, Burleson can still play a role both on and off the field, as Schefter argued:
New Cleveland WR Nate Burleson is a solid pickup for Browns. Can help on field and be veteran leader off it.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 7, 2014
Although the monetary details aren't yet known, the one-year deal is likely a low-risk one, so this makes sense for the Browns, who entered free agency looking to put more pass-catching weapons around burgeoning superstar Josh Gordon.
They already added electric slot man Andrew Hawkins, but Burleson adds some nice depth, as the Browns entered the offseason with just two consistent pass-catchers in Gordon and tight end Josh Cameron.
How would you grade this move by the Browns?
It will be important for the veteran to stay healthy. He has missed 17 games over the past two seasons and infamously broke his arm during a car accident in 2013 when a pizza fell off the front passenger seat.
Should he stay on the field, though, Burleson can absolutely play a solid secondary role for this offense.
Still, don't be surprised if Ray Farmer, Mike Pettine and Co. continue to look for playmakers in the upcoming draft as they overhaul the offense for Brian Hoyer.
Either way, though, the Browns have made some nice moves in the last month, and although Burleson is a low-profile addition who won't completely change the game, bringing in a veteran is just another sign the Browns are serious about contending in 2014.