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Saturday, April 1, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Seahawks pick up receiver Burleson

Seattle Times staff reporter

It's official — Nate Burleson is coming home to stay for at least a while.

The NFL-imposed deadline passed Friday for the Minnesota Vikings to match the Seahawks' seven-year, $49 million offer sheet for Burleson, a wide receiver who played at Seattle's O'Dea High School. Minnesota had until Friday to match the offer; their compensation for losing Burleson to the Seahawks is Seattle's third-round NFL draft pick.

Burleson was drafted in the third round by the Vikings in 2003. The move to acquire him with such a large offer was widely viewed as retaliation by the Seahawks for Minnesota landing former Seahawk Steve Hutchinson with a similar deal. Burleson is guaranteed $5.25 million in the first year of his deal, while Hutchinson, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, gets $16 million.

The Seahawks placed two "poison pills," or stipulations, in Burleson's contract that made it very difficult for Minnesota to match. One was that Burleson's entire deal is guaranteed if he plays five games in Minnesota during any one year of the deal. The other was if Burleson is paid more on average per year than all of his team's running backs combined in 2006, the deal is guaranteed.

The Vikings had a provision in Hutchinson's offer that called for his contract to be guaranteed in full if he was not the highest-paid lineman on the team in 2006.

Burleson, 24, had his best season in 2004, when he caught 68 passes for 1,006 yards, but dealt with injuries last season. He signed the offer sheet last Friday, and the Vikings had seven days to decide whether to match the offer.

Note

• The Seahawks do not have to publicly disclose their finances, Attorney General Rob McKenna said. McKenna's opinion, issued Thursday, trumps a 2003 "informal" opinion from then-Attorney General Chris Gregoire, which said the team was to provide annual profit-and-loss information as part of the deal that resulted in $300 million in tax dollars going to pay for Qwest Field.

Josť Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or jromero@seattletimes.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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