Just hours into free agency the Seattle Seahawks have already lost one of the few playmakers from last season.
The Detroit Free Press is reporting that the Detroit Lions have signed Nate Burleson to a five-year, $25 million deal. with $11 million guaranteed.
Burleson will play opposite one of the up-and-coming receivers in the league in Calvin Johnson.
Burleson, a Seattle native, had said leading up to free agency that he would like to remain with the Seahawks. And new head coach Pete Carroll and John Schneider had said similar statements.
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“We’d love to have him back,” said Carroll.
Added Schneider: “We’ve talked to him. We totally understand he’s going to explore free agency. We’re just going to stay in touch. Nobody really knows where this market is going to go in free agency. We sure don’t. He needs to do what’s best for himself and for his family. We like Nate and we’re going to stay in touch with him the whole way. And that was expressed to him.”
The 28-year-old Burleson finished with 63 catches for 812 yards and three touchdowns, missing the last three games with a high ankle sprain. His move to Detroit means Deion Branch is the likely starter along side T.J. Houshmandzadeh if Seattle does not make a move in free agency or the draft.