Plaxico Burress has been a topic of conversation this week. Odd, considering there is no free agency due to the NFL lockout and Burress isn’t scheduled to be released from prison until next month. But it’s been an odd NFL offseason from the start, so we’ll go with it.
NFL Network information man Jason La Canfora suggests Burress is one player who could actually benefit from the lockout, giving him more time to get in shape and allowing him to hit the market at the same time as other free agents. Pat Kirwan also took a look at the crowded market for Burress and several other veteran receivers, one he expects to favor the buyers.
With that as our launching point, let’s take a speculative second look (this was the first) at potential landing spots for Burress:
The Redskins didn’t make the initial list, but they certainly pass the smell test. Even with the addition of third-round pick Leonard Hankerson, they could lose Santana Moss in free agency. The cupboard is very bare in Washington.
New York Jets
The Jets, reportedly one of two teams interested in Burress before he went away, are viewed by many as the “best fit.” The fact remains the team doesn’t know if Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards or Brad Smith will return. The Jets haven’t hesitated to sign big-name players or those with troubled pasts (Holmes and Edwards) in the past.
One of two teams mentioned by La Canfora (the Rams were the other), the Seahawks could bring back Matt Hasselbeck to make a run at another NFC West title. The emergence of Mike Williams seems to lessen the need for a red zone target. Pete Carroll considered both Randy Moss and Terrell Owens, and the chance he took on Marshawn Lynch paid off.
St. Louis Rams
Coach Steve Spagnuolo has ties to the Giants, but are the Rams committed to the youth movement at receiver? They added Austin Pettis and Greg Salas in the draft, Donnie Avery will return from injury and free agent Mark Clayton was the team’s leading receiver before his injury. The Rams seemed to have filled their needs, but Burress is the type of weapon not currently on the roster if the Rams want to consider themselves contenders.
New York Giants
The Giants know Burress better than anyone, and GM Jerry Reese has said he “won’t rule out” a potential return. There’s some logic in bringing back Burress. The team was decimated by injuries at receiver, and stand to lose Steve Smith. It would also keep Burress away from the Cowboys, Eagles and Redskins. Burress’ former teammates have said they would welcome his return.
New England Patriots
Only because the Patriots will consider every option to improve as long as Tom Brady is still in the picture. The Patriots cut ties with Randy Moss at precisely the right time, and a flier on Burress wouldn’t seem so strange.
Maybe this would be a bit of a surprise, but consider the Eagles a dark horse. The Michael Vick experiment couldn’t have worked out better, proving the organization and the locker room can handle unorthodox moves. Burress would give the offense a different weapon alongside DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and Jason Avant.
Teams falling off the list: Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.