By Tom Withers | AP
CLEVELAND — The Browns plan to give Nate Burleson plenty of responsibilities. One of them probably won’t be delivering pizza.
A free agent wide receiver with 12 years of NFL experience, Burleson agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Browns on Sunday night.
Burleson, who has made 103 career starts and played in 135 games since he was drafted in the third round by Minnesota in 2003, finished last season with 39 catches for 461 yards with Detroit. However, he missed half the year after breaking his left arm in a car accident when he said he tried to stop pizza boxes from sliding off the passenger seat of his car.
Even after the embarrassing mishap, Burleson kept his sense of humor and celebrated a touchdown catch in his first game back from the injury by holding the ball aloft like it was a freshly made pizza.
“I buckled my seat belt first,” he quipped.
Burleson spent four seasons with the Lions, who released him in February in a salary-cap move.
The 6-foot, 198-pounder, who has been limited to 15 games over the past two seasons because of injuries, also visited with the Miami Dolphins before he met with the Browns on Saturday. Burleson gives the Browns experience and depth at receiver. He’ll also be able to mentor young wideout Josh Gordon, an emerging star who led the league in yards receiving last season.
Burleson is the second free agent receiver signed by the club. Cleveland added Andrew Hawkins last month, swiping the speedy slot receiver from the rival Cincinnati Bengals.
Burleson has 457 career receptions for 5,630 yards and 39 touchdowns.