On Monday, the Athletic released their annual NFL 40 under 40 list and one current and one former Detroit Lion made the cut.
The first is the current Lions senior VP of football and business administration Mike Disner and the second is former Lions wide receiver, Nate Burleson.
Here is what Lindsay Jones of The Athletic has to say about those two gentlemen.
Mike Disner, Lions senior vice president of football and business administration | Age: 36
The Lions underwent a massive organizational overhaul this offseason. Disner kept his job as the team’s salary cap guru, but also was promoted into a senior vice president role by team president Ron Wood. Disner’s new role, in which he reports directly to Wood, has him more involved in all aspects of the organization. He was part of the hiring process that brought in new head coach Dan Campbell and general manager Brad Holmes earlier this year.
“He’s become incredibly valuable, not only in what he has been doing, but what he’s growing into, which is being an executive helping lead the whole organization,” Wood told The Athletic.
Before joining the Lions in 2019, Disner worked in the Cardinals’ front office as well as in the league office. He was a member of the NFL’s management council during negotiations of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.
Nate Burleson, NFL Network/CBS studio analyst | Age: 39
Burleson, a former wide receiver for the Vikings, Seahawks, Lions and Browns, has seen his broadcasting career take off in recent years. And now, his media résumé is expanding beyond sports.
Last week, Burleson signed a new deal with CBS to appear across the network’s platforms, including as a host of “CBS This Morning” and regular appearances on Nickelodeon. He will no longer be a regular host of “Good Morning Football” but his role on NFL Network will expand, with more frequent appearances on shows like “NFL GameDay” and a more prominent presence on social media.
Burleson had already been with CBS for three seasons when the network tapped him to host and provide color commentary for Nickelodeon’s NFL playoff broadcast in January. CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus described Burleson’s performance that day as a revelation.
“He understood that his audience was everybody from the hardcore football fan who was watching the broadcast with their children, to the 6- or 7-year-old who didn’t know anything about football, but loved seeing SpongeBob run on the field and players being slimed,” McManus said in a recent phone interview. “He managed to thread the needle perfectly so that he wasn’t in any way insulting to the football fan. And yet he wasn’t speaking over the heads of the kids who were watching. That’s a talent that you have to develop, and he has it. That was, I think, an awakening for a lot of people who hadn’t seen Nate in that form before.”