Late last week, someone with a fake Twitter account purportedly belonging to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora "reported" that the Detroit Lions had traded receiver Nate Burleson to the New England Patriots for running back/wide receiver Danny Woodhead. The "move" amused Burleson, who told Justin Rogers of MLive.com in a story posted Sunday that he hopes to stay in Detroit for a while.
"That's not a bad rumor to get started," Burleson said. "That's almost believable. Luckily I wasn't on Twitter, I might have got emotional and went crazy thinking Detroit was trying to get rid of me. Yeah, that's pretty funny. I'm not going anywhere. My plan is to retire here."
As hoaxes go, this was kind of weak. Even after releasing Chad Ochocinco, New England has four second- or third-tier receivers who are older than 30 on its roster. Why would the Pats need another one? Plus, Burleson has been productive for the Lions. Since being signed to a five-year, $25 million contract in 2010, he's caught 128 passes for 1,382 yards and nine touchdowns. Last season, Burleson had a career-high 73 receptions while playing in nearly 90 percent of the snaps.
With Titus Young needing to show more maturity after reportedly sucker punching a teammate, and second-round draft pick Ryan Broyles rehabbing a torn anterior cruciate ligament, trading Burleson would make zero sense. This is especially true when one considers the $3.175 million signing bonus he received as part of a salary-cap move in March.