Lions not expected to bring Burleson back at a reduced rate

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The Lions told wide receiver Nate Burleson that he’s being released on Thursday, a move that had a lot to do with clearing Burleson’s $5.5 million salary off the cap ahead of the start of the new league year.

Burleson has been a consistent performer when healthy for the Lions and the team isn’t particularly deep at wideout, so some may have wondered if there was a chance for the two sides to come back together at a more reasonable price. According to Tim Twentyman of the team’s website, though, it’s time to start wondering about other things.

Twentyman reports that the Lions are expected to move on from Burleson for good, which would end his run in Detroit after four years and 194 catches. Burleson, who will celebrate his 33rd birthday with a plethora of free pizza this summer, will try to catch on somewhere else.

If Burleson is indeed done in Detroit, receiver becomes even more of a priority for the Lions this offseason than it was before Burleson was shuffled off the roster. Calvin Johnson is joined by Kris Durham, a rehabbing Ryan Broyles and several other uninspiring players on the roster right now and that will need to be upgraded considerably by the time next season rolls around.