Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

05 Mar 2010

Lions Sign Nate Burleson, Kyle Vanden Bosch

Finally, two hours into the free agent period, a signing! The Lions have added Nate Burleson from the Seahawks, according to Adam Caplan. Adam Schefter says it's a five-year deal; John Clayton says it's for $25 million, with $11 million guaranteed.

UPDATE FRIDAY 11am EST: The Lions have also apparently signed defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch to a four-year, $26 million deal. Not sure how much guaranteed money is in that yet. Vanden Bosch will play on a completely revamped defensive line that now features Corey Williams and, we assume, either Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, along with holdover Cliff Avril. Jim Schwartz apparently pulled the Rex Ryan thing, showing up at Vanden Bosch's door at midnight. Now I know why he couldn't return my phone call yesterday! -- Aaron Schatz

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 05 Mar 2010

20 comments, Last at 06 Mar 2010, 12:27pm by Dtownman14


by Treima (not verified) :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 4:00am

Gregg Rosenthal said it, and I have to concur: $11 mil guaranteed is a bit of a reach for this guy.

by Guido Merkens :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 9:51am

As a Lions fan, I like it. They desperately need a real #2 WR opposite Calvin Johnson and a return man, and Burleson fits both roles. He might not be the best #2 out there, but he fills the position, and at this point any time the Lions don't have to worry about filling a position is a win.

by zlionsfan :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 12:41pm

As a Lions fan and someone who's used the 2009 Lions on Madden, they absolutely need a real #2.

I think this is the same thing as the Tigers several years ago ... they had to overpay free agents to get them to come to Detroit and play on a bad team. Juan Gonzalez (trade, not FA, but basically the same type of thing) busted, but Ivan Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez worked out very well.

As you say, for the Lions, it's not only getting a #2 receiver, but getting NFL talent at another position. Maybe it's too much, but it's better than Ronald Curry.

by jebmak :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 1:48pm

As a Lion's anti-fan, I don't like this.

by dedkrikit (not verified) :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 10:00am

I desperately want the Lions to be respectable again. Not exactly winners... but any FA signings that helps them reach 8-8 (or thereabouts) is a good thing.

by rageon :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 10:35am

Burleson has made a boatload of money over two separate contracts, for what exactly?

by Lola was a dude (not verified) :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 11:56am

Yeah, I had the same thought. At least the first time around, there was a perception that he was an up-and-coming young player. Now? I don't know what the appeal is. I guess the money isn't THAT outrageous in the overall scheme of things, but I still don't see why he's a $5 million/year player.

by Jimmy :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 11:00am

I would be shocked if the $11m is a bonus payment. What they will have done is give him approx $5m in bonus money and then guaranteed another $6m of salary and/or roster bonuses against injury and performance. Which probably means that there is $14m in base salary over the last three years. Even the Lions wouldn't have given an eight figure bonus to Burleson.

by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 11:05am

Why bother? Why not go after Antonio Bryant or Walter, both of whom are better options than a washed up Burleson. Is this an indication that the Lions phoned those two and were told to go **** themselves. So much money for a very average number three receiver.

The lions' other moves are pretty decent though, Williams and Vanden Bosch will help once they've added Suhperman/McCoy

by crack (not verified) :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 11:14am

The Lions definitely need to overpay to get free agents. Detroit offers nothing that can't be found elsewhere, unless they overpay. This is the year for them to do that. I like what Gym Shorts is trying. I wish him luck.

by JasonK :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 1:24pm

Aaron, we love ya, but that's some pretty obnoxious name-dropping there.

by Ben Stuplisberger :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 2:17pm

Come on, Aaron toiled away for a while before anyone noticed his work, give him the benefit of the doubt for a bit.

by C (not verified) :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 2:38pm

There was an exclamation point.
Would you feel the same way if Peter King or Pete Prisco said the same thing?

by Aaron Schatz :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 2:49pm

Come on, I'm just goofing around, folks.

by jebmak :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 5:46pm

I would probably ignore it, just like I did this. It can't be healthy for people to get worked up all the time about what someone writes. I will get off my high horse with an appropriate quote.

"Someone is WRONG on the internet. What do you want me to do? LEAVE? Then they'll keep being wrong!"
-Randall Munroe

by justanothersteve :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 1:32pm

I'm upset. Nobody ever shows up at my door at midnight to offer me a $26M contract.

by C (not verified) :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 2:02pm

I happen to like Cliff Avril and always have...

So if you play him at DE
Vanden Bosh

That has the potential to be a pretty freaking good D-Line, and can allow Schwartz to keep 7 in coverage and do more of what he did in Ten. The Lions front 7 might end up not being that bad.

Aaron, we understand you've talked to Jim Schwartz before, no need to be so star struck and wonder like a teenage girl if he won't call you back.

by alexbond :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 2:42pm

Burleson had flukey-great seasons in 2004 and 2007 and hasn't been very good besides those, where he just happened to get a ton of TDs. He is, however, an excellent returner, in fact, one of the better punt returners I've ever seen. His return for a TD against Cleveland in 2007 was one of the best individual plays I've ever seen in a football game - no one got blocked, he just made all 11 guys miss.

by Rocky Prinz (not verified) :: Fri, 03/05/2010 - 2:48pm

Great another injury prone WR who catches under 60%...consistent lousy. Welcome Big Kyle. Now lets see how they screw up their draft...again.

by Dtownman14 (not verified) :: Sat, 03/06/2010 - 12:27pm

Now lets see how they screw up their draft...again.

Are you that dumb? They got the best QB,TE and safety in the draft last year... You need to do your home work... Dumb a**