The Lions released wide receiver Nate Burleson on Thursday. The move understandably saddened Burleson, but didn't shock him. He said in a radio interview that he will "miss playing in Honolulu Blue" but admitted that the team's decision was "realistic."
"[Lions executives] probably were sitting up there in meetings last week saying, 'If Nate plays a whole year, he can be one of the more productive pieces of this offense," Burleson said. "But can we count on that? Can we guarantee he will play 16 games?' I am sure that factored into what they were saying."
Burleson, 32, hasn't played a full season since 2011. He missed 10 games in 2012 due to a broken leg. He missed seven games this season due to a broken arm sustained in a car crash.
Burleson also said he has already been in contact with a couple of teams and expects to find a new place to continue his career soon.
Burleson's $5.5 million salary for 2014 probably made this decision a given. The Lions have a dangerous offense, but they don't have established threat out wide across from Calvin Johnson. Ryan Broyles ' knees could be shot. Kris Durham is not the answer. Perhaps Joseph Fauria picks up the slack? No. 2 wide receiver continues to be an area of need for the Lions.
Burleson, even at this point in his career can help an NFL team. Think Jets or Redskins. From a fantasy perspective, Burleson will be worth watching only in very deep PPR re-draft leagues or more specifically draft-n-go leagues where the production can count on weeks where you're not expecting it. Good luck in your future endeavors Nate!