Former Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson has been around long enough — and was smart enough — to know what was coming.
So when he woke up to two missed calls from the Lions offices and General Manager Martin Mayhew’s line, he knew what was coming.
So rather than worry, he rolled over in bed and continued to play with his daughter.
“I just thought to myself, ‘It’s either, or,’” Burleson told Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. “Maybe because I prepared myself for both, but I was like, ‘He’s either going to offer me some money or he’s going to tell me it’s been a fun run.’… I finally got up and made the call and the conversation ensued.”
Cutting Burleson and safety Louis Delmas was strictly business, as the Lions cleared $11.5 million in cap space.
The fact Burleson missed 17 games the past two seasons with injuries made it easier to weigh his financial cost above his potential stats and leadership.
“They probably just thought about the number financially and then probably thought about the season and said, ‘If Nate’s healthy, yeah, he can probably give us 70 to 80 catches, but if he’s not then it’s going to be tough to deal with,’” Burleson said. “I think it hurt the team this year when I went down. You saw a really significant drop in just how we were able to operate as an offense because I was such a big part. But it’s a hard decision for them to make, but I can’t blame them for making it.”
Burleson should be able to find work in the NFL soon, as he’s been productive when well. But if he doesn’t, there’s surely a job in the media for him somewhere, as he is one of the players who gets it, as his ability to handle the news of being released clearly displayed.