Plaxico Burress was released from prison this morning after serving his 22 month sentence on a weapons charge. He emerged from behind the chain-link fence wearing none other than a Philadelphia Phillies baseball hat. After the past few weeks of speculation let’s take a look at the possible teams that Plax could end up on and where he is most likely to end up.
The teams that have been mentioned in the running for Burress include teams like the Jets, Rams, Eagles, and Plaxico’s agent Drew Rosenhaus will not rule out the Giants.
The New York Giants released Plaxico Burress on April 3rd, 2009, five months after he accidently shot himself in the leg. Brandon Jacobs’ has ruled out Burress’ return to the Giants. While Brandon Jacobs is not in the front office, he has been a frequent visitor to Plaxico during his time in prison. The Giants have no need for Plaxico anymore, they have since replaced him. Hakeem Nicks has stepped up as the number one wide receiver in the Giants offense with a solid corps behind him with the likes of Steve Smith and Kevin Boss at tight end.
New York’s other team will also explore their options with Plaxico as well. The Jets have three unrestricted free agents at the wide receiver spot; Braylon Edwards, Brad Smith, and Santionio Holmes. Brad Smith and Santonio Holmes are the most likely of the three to be signed. Brad Smith is such a well rounded athlete that the Jets will not want to lose him in the Wildcat offense and in the return game. Rex Ryan is in love with Santonio Holmes and the fact that he is arguably the most clutch player in the league. This leaves Braylon Edwards, the 6’3” power receiver in the Jets’ offense looking for a job. If the Jets decide to sign this combination and move on without Edwards, 6’5” Plaxico Burress has a very good chance of landing back in the Meadowlands.
Another highly talked about landing spot for Burress is in St. Louis with Sam Bradford and his corps of youth at receiver. Right now, the average height of starting receivers in St. Louis is 5 feet, 11.6 inches. Danny Amendola, Brandon Gibson, and Donnie Avery make up one of the smallest receiving groups in the league. Bringing in Plaxico seems like it could be a fit to balance out the lack of height. But St. Louis has transferred from the days of Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt to a smaller, younger, faster offense. The Rams just drafted 6’2” Boise State receiver Austin Pettis and have high expectations for him, as well they should.
The final team, and in my opinion, the team that makes the most sense is the Philadelphia Eagles. Plaxico Burress used to kill the Eagles during his days with the Giants, so why not bring in your ex-enemy to help turn around your offense? The Eagles have had a lot of trouble in the red zone without a go-to target receiver and Plaxico Burress could provide that fade route receiver that the Eagles have had trouble finding. Also, players coming out of prison, as in Michael Vick’s case, sometimes pass up the money to re-establish their name in the league with a strong team and locker room. Michael Vick has been somewhat of a mentor to Plaxico during his time in prison, visiting him on some occasions. This leads you to ask, were these recruiting visits urging Plax to join the Eagles when he comes back to the NFL? Plaxico Burress will pass up more money from a team like the Jets and will come to a strong locker room, that he expressed interest in, to jumpstart Plax part 2. Burress should be the number two free agent target for the Eagles once the market opens, only behind cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha.
Of course, this is all just adding to speculation along with all of the other NFL analysts and writers. Plaxico is still a physically imposing receiver who, with a little work, can dominate in the league for a few more years. He could fit each of the above teams as well as the other 28 teams across the league in one way or another. Once free agency opens up, Plaxico will be in high demand.
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