May 29, 2012; Allen Park, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receivers Nate Burleson (13) and Titus Young (16) during organized team activities at Lions training facility. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Earlier this offseason when the Detroit Lions were in need of cap space, one of the ideas some fans had was to cut somebody like Nate Burleson. This was before Burleson restructured his contract, and in some people's mind, the extra cap room would have been worth parting ways with a veteran like Burleson.
The Lions never seriously considered making a move like this, though. Not only can Burleson still contribute on offense, but he is a leader in the locker room. He is a good guy to have around, especially for a young player like Titus Young. Young's emergence last season is a big reason why some still think Burleson is expendable, and even Burleson is aware that Young is more than likely going to eventually take his job. Even so, Burleson is more than happy to help Young eventually get to that point.
"I told Titus, I said, 'Look. There's no question that you're brought here to take my position. That's what you're brought here to do. And by the time I'm done, you should be ready to take that and you should be on your way to a new contract. And if you're not in those two positions, I don't think I did my job well enough.'"
Stuff like this is why I'm such a big fan of Burleson. He is a great representative of the Lions, contributes on the field and is all about the team. The NFL needs more guys like him.