If the Carolina Panthers have the money, expect them to make a move for Nate Burleson of the Seahawks.
First off, Screw TO. I don't know why we're even having this conversation. He's too old. Eventually the rest of the league will have to fetch him a walking cane, because while he can still cut he doesn't have any efficient breakaway speed like he's had in the past. Nate Burleson has a few of the qualities that made DJ Hackett so enticing a couple of years ago. So without further to do, here's the top 5 reasons why Nate Burleson will be a Carolina Panther.
1. Panthers great need for receiver.
If you pair Nate Burleson with a draft pick in the later rounds of the draft, the Panthers will be pretty well set going into next year. The problems at WR should be handled in free agency, not the draft. If you take Burleson to be our #2 receiver and move Moose to 3rd string, it will allow us to run our 3 receiver set much more often and give Matt Moore a fabulous opportunity to make an impact starting his second year in Carolina.
2. Underutilized receiver.
The Panthers have never been big spenders in free agency, and they're always looking for a bargain talent. Nate Burleson hits just the perfect tone when it comes to the bargain bin. Nate Burleson tore his ACL in 2008, and while people wondered if he'd be the same receiver in 09 he came back and led the Seahawks in receiving till he messed up his ankle in Week 14. And that was when he was on-pace for 1,000 yards and he was without his main QB for most of the year. He's well past due for a full season, and I believe that we could give him one here in Carolina.
3. A receiver in his prime for the cost of a dime
He's not going to be a player for the future, but he's not going to be a one season player either! Nate Burleson is 28 years of age, and his problems with injuries is sure to drive down the price to nail him down to a contract. While the Seahawks get first dibs, they spent their 3rd round pick on Deon Butler, whom will factor into the decision. In the end, Nate Burleson will get more from free agency then he will from the Seahawks, and that will prompt him to take a hike. He'll still be pretty cheap though, all things considering.
4. Not from the big Market
Nate Burleson has always played in the small market NFL, starting from his days with the Vikings and Daunte Culpepper and going on into Seattle. He never spent time with championship teams like Pittsburgh, New England, Indianapolis, or New York. That makes the Panthers like him a bit more because he's not really on the radar of many teams.
5. Nate Burleson has no off-field troubles.
Before everything else, the Panthers look for receivers that have their life off the field under just as much control as their lives on the field. Nate Burleson is a technically sound player that knows the game, and he knows how to live his life as well. He will make a great addition not only to this football team, but to this organization as well.
I'm calling this move right here, right now. If the Seahawks choose to not retain him, I believe he will be a Panthers or the Panthers will at the very least make a play at him. The gut has spoken, and I trust my gut. Other players I believe the Panthers will keep an eye on are Steve Breaston, Antonio Bryant, Vincent Jackson or Malcolm Floyd ((Whichever comes free from the chargers)), and Lance Moore.
Solve this problem in Free Agency Panthers. Make use of this uncapped year. If we solve this problem now and sign a capable #2, it gives us one less worry going into the NFL Draft, and we can try to develop another receiver as opposed to trying to make a move for an instant starter.