An early look at the potential market for Burress

So is it really news every time we hear/read/watch agent Drew Rosenhaus say he believes Plaxico Burress will be back in the NFL next season? No, not really. We’ve already heard Burress vow that he will play again.

So, the next logical step is … where?

Burress is expected to be released from prison this summer, and as we know it only takes one team to provide a second chance. Even though Burress, 33, will have spent roughly two and a half years away from football at that point, it’s expected teams will be at least willing to consider the possibility.

The market for Burress is completely speculative, but after trading e-mails with some league insiders, here’s a list of teams that could make some sense when you connect all the dots:

This is more of a need fit. The Bears certainly lack size among Johnny Knox, Earl Bennett and Devin Hester.

With the likely departures of Chad Ochocinco Johnson and Terrell Owens, the Bengals have questions at receiver. The Bengals always have their eyes open on risk players (see Adam Jones, Cedric Benson and Matt Jones).

The Bucs were one of the two teams that explored the idea of Burress a year ago. Is the interest still there after productive rookie seasons by Mike Williams and Arrelious Benn? Outside of Maurice Stovall, the Bucs have limited size at receiver.

Giants GM Jerry Reese has said he “won’t rule out” a potential return by Burress. Meanwhile, several of his teammates have publicly said Burress would be welcomed back. The Giants might have washed their hands of Burress, but many in the organization have kept in close contact. I also refuse to ignore the conspiracy theory on why the Giants never re-issued No. 17.

The Jets were one of two teams reportedly interested in Burress before he went away. With Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards set to become free agents (current CBA negotiations notwithstanding), it could be an area of need for the Jets.

The window remains open in New England as long as Tom Brady is spinning the ball. The Patriots adapted the offense even before Randy Moss was traded, but the offense was clearly missing a vertical threat. The Patriots will likely address that need in the draft, but this is an organization that considers every option.

Throwing this one out based on need. Burress doesn’t seem a fit with the Rams’ young receiving corps, but there is a link to coach Steve Spagnuolo. New OC Josh McDaniels has a track record of success with big receivers (Randy Moss, Brandon Marshall). Sam Bradford needs proven targets.

Burress isn’t a speed receiver and not the ideal compliment to Anquan Boldin or Derrick Mason, but coach John Harbaugh has said he’d at least consider the idea. Mason always flirts with retirement, and our Jason LaCanfora said previously T.J Houshmandzadeh will probably not return for 2011.

It’s thought the example set by Michael Vick this season could pave the way for Burress a year later. And since 6-foot-5 receivers don’t grow on trees, it seems likely someone gives Burress a shot. Where do you think Burress will end up?

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