Lions receiver Nate Burleson has given a message to teammate Jahvid Best that's been echoed by many:

Safety first, football second.

"I just told him that if it was me I would shut it down," Burleson said on "NFL Total Access" on the NFL Network Tuesday, recounting a conversation from last season.

Due to multiple concussions, Best hasn't played since Week 6 in 2011. The 24-year-old started the 2012 season on the physically unable to perform list and failed neurological exams during the season that would've cleared him to play.

General manager Martin Mayhew said he's not counting on Best to return in 2013, and Burleson made a pitch to Dolphins free agent running back Reggie Bush Monday on NFL Network to join the Lions and effectively replace Best.

Burleson thinks it's time for Best to choose life over football.

Burleson said he told Best: "You've got so much more life to live, and even though I would love to have you on the field, I don't want it to risk anything that has to do with your brain or possibly your post career."

The message comes from Burleson as both a nine-year veteran and a friend.

"Being a guy that loves him as an individual versus him as a player, I just told him, 'Honestly I'd rather see you healthy at 65 than healthy at 25.'"



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130219/SPORTS0101/302190409#ixzz2LSKJbkvu