Nate Burleson spent the last four seasons with the Detroit Lions, and the 32-year-old veteran thought he was going to remain there through 2014 and beyond. He had been a reliable target for Matthew Stafford when healthy, but thanks in large part to an injury involving a pizza box he only played in 15 games from 2012-2013. Now, he is greatly anticipating his return to Detroit.
Burleson and the Cleveland Browns travel to Ford Field to take on the Lions in the first preseason game of the year on Aug. 9. Burleson isn’t yet sure what he’s going to do, but he’s confident it will cost him.
“Man, I’m wracking my brain figuring out what celebration I’m going to do — because I’m going to get a fine,” Burleson recently told MLive.com’s Kyle Meinke. “I’m going to get a fine, period. I’m going to go to my coach and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to get a fine. I’m going to do something crazy.’
“It’s going to be a little bit of an appreciation celebration to the fans and the city of Detroit. But it’s also going to be a poke in the back, saying, ‘You should have kept me because I’m still balling.’”
Burleson said there are no hard feelings between him and the Lions, adding that he understands the team letting him go because of his inability to stay healthy. He was also very complimentary of Golden Tate, who was basically signed by Detroit to be his replacement.
“I plan to get off that game,” Burleson said of his team’s preseason matchup in Detroit. “It might be the best game of the year for me. Guarantee it. I’m going crazy that game. Probably like 200 yards. Fantasy points through the roof, man.”
Not many people play preseason fantasy football, Nate. And how do the Browns feel about Burleson vowing to have his best game of the season on Aug. 9? I’m sure that’s not what they had in mind when they brought him on board. That said, I can’t wait to see what he comes up with.