Detroit Lions' Nate Burleson: Calvin Johnson sent pictures of 'disgusting' finger to teammates
Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson has suffered countless injuries in his 11-year career. But even he was grossed out by a picture of a surgically repaired finger on Calvin Johnson’s left hand.
“I didn’t talk to him about the knee (arthroscopy), but he sent out a text message with pictures of his finger,” Burleson said Monday at a promotional appearance for Forgotten Harvest at a Sterling Heights Walmart. “And my response — first of all, he never texts anybody — and you send out this Freddy Krueger, ‘Saw VI’ pictures.
“It was disgusting. It was literally the worst thing I’ve ever seen. It was gross. But I’m glad that his finger’s better because we had a lot of jokes that we poured down on him about that little afflicted finger.”
Fixing problems can be messy. Burleson knows this and that’s why he doesn’t want his contract to be a hindrance to returning to the Lions this season.
The Lions are already about $6 million over the projected salary cap of $126 million for this year, and Burleson currently would account for a $7.5-million cap hit. He said a restructuring of the final year of his contract is a certainty.
“They’ve got to figure out what they want and if they can bring in something that they need,” he said of the Lions. “They’re going to draft receivers, bring in receivers. But maybe in the next month or two I’ll get a phone call.
“But like I said, there’s more important things in my football career than money. So I’m not worried about that. That’s the least of my worries. I think the most of my concerns is making sure I’m in a Detroit Lions uniform.”
Injuries, including a freak pizza-related broken arm this year, have limited Burleson to 15 games the past two seasons. But he still caught 39 passes this season and believes, at 32, he has plenty of catches left in him before he calls it quits
“I figure a full year, Nate Burleson stays healthy, I can be productive and give you about 80 catches,” he said. “And I’m not going to retire from getting 80 catches a year. We’ll see. Maybe one or two years.
“It all depends on what we bring back to the city. The sooner we get a Super Bowl in Detroit, the faster I can consider retirement.”