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Browns say free-agent wide receiver Nate Burleson is visiting them today

By Nate Ulrich Published: April 5, 2014

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Free-agent wide receiver Nate Burleson is visiting the Browns today at their headquarters, a team spokesman confirmed.

Burleson also recently visited the Miami Dolphins, according to several reports.

The 6-foot, 198-pound Burleson, 32, spent the past four seasons with the Detroit Lions. Injuries have limited him to only 15 games with 13 starts the last two seasons.

This past season, Burleson caught 39 passes for 461 yards and a touchdown. His season was interrupted in September by a bizarre, headline-grabbing injury that forced him to miss seven games. Burleson suffered a broken arm in a one-car accident caused by his attempt to keep a pizza he’d purchased from sliding off the passenger seat. The Lions stated there was no alcohol involved.

The Browns signed Andrew Hawkins last month to fill their void in the slot, but they still need a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver to start opposite All-Pro Josh Gordon. They’ll likely look for a player who fits that description in the draft, which will run May 8-10, but adding Burleson would give them depth, experience and someone who could mentor Gordon.

A third-round draft pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2003, Burleson isn’t the only receiver the Browns have considered signing before the draft.

Former Oakland Raiders receiver Jacoby Ford, 26, told New York reporters during a conference call Wednesday that the Browns had been in contact with him before he chose to sign with the Jets on Tuesday. Ford had 13 catches for 99 yards last season.

In addition to Gordon and Hawkins, Travis Benjamin and Greg Little are the notable names in the receiving corps. Benjamin, though, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee Oct. 27, and Little struggled mightily last season, finishing last out of 111 receivers in ProFootballFocus.com’s rankings.

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