Nate Burleson is a Canadian-born, former wide receiver for American Football. He played in the National Football League (NFL). He currently works as a television host and commentator for American Football. In college, he played for the University of Nevada. He was drafted into the NFL by the Minnesota Vikings.

Teams he has played for include the Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and the Cleveland Browns. He was a part of the Seattle Seahawks 35th Anniversary team.

Born to a Sports Family

Burleson was born Nathaniel Eugene Burleson on August 19, 1981, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is the son of Al Burleson who was a defensive back for the Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League.

Team 178 cleveland browns Cleveland Browns
Position Wide Receiver
Height / weight 1.83 m / 90 kg
Born 19 Aug 1981
Nationality Canada Canada
Nickname Recepticon
Team History
178 cleveland browns Cleveland Browns 2014 - present
193 detroit lions Detroit Lions 2010 - 2013
202 seattle seahawks Seattle Seahawks 2006 - 2009
195 minnesota vikings Minnesota Vikings 2003 - 2005

His older brother also played football for the University of Washington and Western Illinois University. Another brother played professional basketball for the Charlotte Bobcats in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His younger brother followed Nate’s footsteps and played college football for the University of Nevada.

Canadian at Heart

Burleson’s father moved the family to the United States in 1983 after he signed with the Los Angeles Express in the United States Football League.

Even though much of Nate’s life was lived in the United States, he has always been proud of his Canadian heritage. He has a maple leaf tattoo and he has expressed willingness to play for the Canadian team in a World Cup Event.

College Career

Burleson had initially hoped to attend the University of Washington but they did not offer him a scholarship. He instead went to the University of Nevada in Reno.

In 2002, he made 138 receptions, which is the second-highest in the history of the NCAA. Throughout his time with Nevada, he made 248 receptions and a total of 3,293 yards. He also made 23 touchdowns.

The American Football Coaches Association named Burleson to the first-team All-American. He was also named to the All-WAC by the Western Athletic Conference. He holds the WAC and Nevada record for single-game receptions with 19 catches.

NFL Debut and the Minnesota Vikings

In 2003, he was drafted into the NFL by the Minnesota Vikings. He showed promise for his rookie season and NFL debut. He had his time to shine in 2004 when he stepped up as a replacement for Randy Moss, who had injured his hamstring. This made him Minnesota’s go-to guy.

During his time with Minnesota, he became the only player in the history of the NFL to have three punt returns exceeding 90 yards.

Seattle Seahawks, Detroit Lions, and the Cleveland Browns

In 2006, Burleson would go on to sign a contract with the Seattle Seahawks worth $49 Million. Burleson holds the Seahawks team record for the most punt return yards done in a single season. He also holds the record for career punt return yards.

In March 2010, Burleson signed with the Detroit Lions where he reunited with Scott Linehan. In 2001, he received the Detroit Lions-Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association/ Pro Football Writer’s Associations Media-Friendly, “Good Guy Award”. He had good interactions with the press.

In February 2014, Burleson broke his arm in two places in a car accident. He would leave the Lions in 2014. He moved to the Cleveland Browns but would later be cut in August 2014.


Following his career with the NFL, Burleson went into broadcasting.

He started by working as an analyst for the NFL Network. He also commentated for the Detroit Lions Television Network. Other places he has appeared include Good Morning Football and The NFL Today. In 2021, he was awarded a Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Studio Analyst.

In addition to the NFL Network, Burleson would also work for CBS and would appear in CBS This Morning and CBS Mornings. He also worked for Nickelodeon’s NFL Highlights show.

Career Highlights and Awards

Seattle Seahawks 35th Anniversary Team

NFL Career Statistics

  • Receptions: 457
  • Receiving yards: 5,630
  • Receiving touchdowns: 39
  • Return yards: 2,809
  • Return touchdowns: 4

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