No. -- Free Agent
|Date of birth:August 19, 1981|
|Place of birth: Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|High school: Seattle (WA) O'Dea|
|NFL Draft: 2003 / Round: 3 / Pick: 71|
|Debuted in 2003 for the Minnesota Vikings|
|Roster status: Active|
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2013
Nathaniel Burleson (born August 19, 1981) is a Canadian-born American football wide receiver, who is currently a free agent. Burleson played college football for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack, and was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
Burleson has also played for the Seattle Seahawks. He is the son of former Canadian Football League (CFL) and USFL player Alvin Burleson and the younger brother of former National Basketball Association (NBA) player Kevin Burleson.
Burleson was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. At the time his father, Alvin Burleson, was playing defensive back for the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League (CFL). He was born into a prolific and tight-knit sporting family. His oldest brother, Alvin Jr., played college football for the University of Washington Huskies and the Western Illinois University Leathernecks. Another older brother, Kevin, plays professional basketball and was formerly a point guard for the Charlotte Bobcats of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His younger brother Lyndale played college basketball for the University of Nevada Wolf Pack. Kevin and Nate Burleson are one of only two sibling duos in which one brother played in the NBA while the other played in the NFL. As a mark of his father's influence, Nate Burleson's jersey number on the Seattle Seahawks, 81, was his father's high school number.
Burleson was an infant when the family relocated from Canada back to the United States. His father was signed by the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League (USFL) for its inaugural 1983 season. However, he remains proud of his Canadian heritage, sporting a maple leaf tattoo and expressing interest in playing for Canada in a World Cup of football to the media. After an injury ended Alvin Burleson's playing career, he moved the family to his hometown of Seattle, Washington, U.S., where he worked for Associated Grocers. Nate Burleson attended Rainier View Elementary School in Seattle. This school was subsequently closed but has been reopened. Burleson began crediting it in NFL player introductions on TV broadcasts in December 2011. He attended Lindbergh High School in the suburb of Renton as a freshman, and then transferred to O'Dea High School in Seattle, where he graduated. As a senior, he was named Seattle Times City Athlete of the Year.
Burleson hoped to attend the University of Washington, his father's alma mater, but was not offered a football scholarship. Instead he accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Nevada, Reno and played for the Nevada Wolf Pack. In the 2002 season he made 138 receptions, the second highest in NCAA history. His senior year he led the NCAA in both receiving yards and in receptions per game. During his time at Nevada he made a total of 248 receptions for a total of 3,293 yards and 22 touchdowns. He was named first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association, All-WAC by the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), and team MVP, and was named second-team All-America by The Sporting News and CNN/SI. He currently holds the WAC and Nevada all-time records for single game receptions with 19 catches. He graduated with a degree in human development and family studies.
Burleson was selected in the third round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings, the 71st overall pick. He showed promise during his rookie season, but did not put up great numbers. In his second season, 2004, Burleson emerged as a threat when fellow receiver Randy Moss injured his hamstring. Burleson was now the go-to-guy for Minnesota. He put up strong numbers and reached 1,000 receiving yards for the first time in his career. Not only a great receiver, but a standout special teams player as well, Burleson is the only player in NFL history to have three punt returns of 90 or more yards.
On March 24, 2006, Burleson signed a seven-year $49 million offer sheet to play with his hometown Seattle Seahawks. In retribution for the Vikings signing an offer sheet with former Seahawks guard Steve Hutchinson, the Seahawks put clauses in Burleson's offer sheet which made it virtually impossible for Minnesota to match (similar to what the Vikings did with Hutchinson). The offer sheet stated that the entire $49 million would be guaranteed if Burleson played five games, in one season, in the state of Minnesota, or if his average per year exceeded the average of all running backs on the team combined. The Vikings play eight home games a year in Minneapolis, and at the time of the offer sheet, the team spent far less than $7 million per year for its entire running back corps. On the other hand, Seattle was spending over $7 million a year on just one of its running backs (Shaun Alexander). The Vikings had seven days to match the offer sheet but declined to do so. Minnesota received Seattle's third-round pick in the 2006 NFL Draft; Seattle, however, received no compensation for the departure of Hutchinson. On September 7, 2008, Burleson tore a ligament in his knee in Seattle's season opener against the Bills. He was put on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
During the early hours of the NFL free agency period on March 5, 2010, Burleson agreed to a five-year $25 million contract with the Detroit Lions. Burleson will be reuniting with his former offensive coordinator, Scott Linehan, with whom he had his best season of his career in 2004, when he caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns while playing for the Vikings. In 2011, Burleson was named recipient of the Detroit Lions-Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association/Pro Football Writers Association's Media-Friendly "Good Guy Award" for his interactions with the media in Detroit. On September 24, 2013, Burleson broke his arm in two places in an early morning, single car accident. It was reported that Burleson was attempting to save a pizza from falling off a seat in his car and lost control of his vehicle fracturing his forearm in 2 places. He was cut from the Lions on February 13, 2014.
Burleson is married to his wife Atoya. They have two sons and one daughter.
After signing with the Lions, Burleson has given himself two nicknames; Nate "Touchdown" Burleson and "Recepticon," keeping with the Transformers-themed nickname "Megatron" established for fellow receiver Calvin Johnson.
Nate is also involved in the fashion industry. He is the owner of a new clothing label, Lion Blood.
Nate raps under the moniker, New Balance. 
- Raley, Dan (September 13, 2006). "Burlesons are the first family of Seattle sports". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- Duff, Bob (October 18, 2010). "Lions’ Burleson proud of Canadian roots". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved October 19, 2010.
- Fryer, Alex (June 21, 2007). "Rainier View remembered". Seattle Times. Retrieved June 21, 2007.
- Spratt, Gerry (December 9, 2011). "Nate Burleson wants you to know where he went to elementary school". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Seattle Seahawks Bio
- "Source: Receiver Nate Burleson agrees to 5-year, $25 million with $11 million guaranteed deal with Detroit Lions - ESPN". ESPN. Retrieved March 6, 2010.
- Career statistics and player information from NFL.com • Pro-Football-Reference • Databasefootball.com
- Nate Burleson on Twitter