On March 12th, NFL free agency officially begins. The Detroit Lions management has stated that they will be players in this year’s off-season signings. A recent move by Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson should help matters during free agency.
Burleson, who has played with the Lions since 2010, restructured his contract with the Lions. Burleson seemed pleased with his new deal and even tweeted about it here:
— Nathaniel E Burleson (@Nate13Burleson) February 22, 2013
Financial details have not been released from the restructured deal, but it is believed to save the Lions around $2 million in 2013 salary cap relief. Burleson was scheduled to count $6.5 million against the 2013 cap, with a base salary of $4.5 million. In 2014, those numbers jump to $7.5 and $5.5 million respectively.
Burleson was pleased with the deal, because he wants to stay in Detroit and help the team win. “I told him I wanted to retire here and he said he felt the same way,” Burleson said referring to general manager Martin Mayhew. “I’m willing to work it out because I love this team and I feel this is my best chance to win a Super Bowl before I shut it down a few more years,” Burleson said.
Aside from retiring as a Lion, the move was likely done by Burleson to help the team land some key free agents. No name is bigger in Burleson’s mind than Reggie Bush. As I mentioned last week, Burleson made his case on the NFL Network to Bush. “You already took your talents to South Beach, come on to Detroit,” Burleson said directly into the camera. Burleson also echoed his Super Bowl sentiment by telling an analyst, “If I can get Reggie Bush in a Detroit Lions uniform…watch out.”
The restructured contract with Burleson is one of several deals made by Detroit this off-season. The team will continue to work on deals with current players, including Matthew Stafford, to free up cap space before the official start of free agency.