Is Plaxico Burress’s Career over?
By Tim Kelly Owner of TRST Twitter: @KashKelly_TRST
Despite the Jets disappointing 8-8 campaign in the 2011 season, leading to more questions about whether Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez were long-term solutions in the big apple, there was one brightside that went relatively unnoticed during the Jets season. That was the return of former All-Pro Wide Receiver Plaxico Burress to the NFL, who joined the Jets on a two-year deal after serving a two-year prison sentence. While Plax didn’t return to being a superstar receiver, he was extremely productive in the red-zone catching 7 touchdowns, in the red-zone, to lead the NFL. Overall Burress caught 45 balls, averaging 13.6 yards per catch, eight touchdowns, totaling 612 yards. So while Burress wasn’t a number one receiver last year, the soon to be 35 year-old proved that he had something to contribute to the league. After the season the Jets decided to go in another direction and didn’t bring back Burress.
Once Free-Agency began Burress went on 97.5 The Fanatic ESPN in Philadelphia on the Baldy and Mayes show, and Burress expressed his interest in joining the Eagles, and playing with good friend Michael Vick. Plaixco said that “Nothing else would make him happier,” than to join the Eagles. Speculation ran wild in Philadelphia that Plaxico would be joining the bird nest, but Eagles coach Andy Reid put the rumors on hold by saying that “The Eagles weren’t that interested in adding Burress.” And with the Eagles having much bigger defensive needs after their own abysmal 8-8 season, it was tough for anyone to complain in Philadelphia.
That was over 3 months ago, and since then we hadn’t heard much from the Burress camp, until this week. This week things began to heat up again on the Burress rumor mill. Burress went to numerous media outlets this week including ESPN First Take and WFNZ, a radio station in Charlotte, to express his interest in signing with the Panthers and playing with Cam Newton in specific. However, according to the Charlotte Observer, Plaxico Burress will have to continue searching for a new team, because the Panthers “do not want him,” this according to an anonymous team source.
With training camp only a little over a month away, it really is fair to begin to question if Plaxico will be in the NFL this season, and at age 34(almost 35), or ever again. It is also fair to question whether it is worth it for a contender to bring in a guy like Burress who has a fairly big ego. Both of those things said, Burress isn’t a fast slot receiver who is burned out, and he still has his his biggest weapon-His size. There will be a place for a 6’5 receiver who caught 7 touchdowns inside the redzone last year, and is a Superbowl champion. It most likely will take an injury in training camp or the preseason to a key receiver, but some team will pick up Burress, and really they are going to get a huge steal. Most Receivers who catch eight touchdowns and over 600 yards will make five-six million. With Burress’s interest in joining a contender and how long it has taken for him to get picked up, you can likely get Burress for the discount of two million and obviously the other difference is that it will only be on a one-year deal. In the end this season may be it for Plaxico, but the need for a 6’5 redzone threat, assures that this season will happen for Burress.