Now, before I say anything, I’d like to mention the fact that it may not even be their decision, as Burress is facing 3-1/2–15 years of jail time if convicted.
The one thing that screams ‘Bring Plax back!’ is none other than the reason the Giants are not going any further in the playoffs this season: the Philadelphia Eagles. Yes, it’s true that he only had one catch for 17 yards in the Giants-Eagles matchup he did participate in this season, but that catch did go for a touchdown in the close 36-31 Giants victory.
Now that the Eagles are back as an NFC East force, the Giants may need him to help their now-stalling offense.
Before the Nov 30 game against the Eagles, the first that Burress was inactive for, the thought that was running through my mind was ‘Let him go! He’s just a distraction!’ This thought was promoted by the fact that in the past three years, the G-men have drafted such star college receivers as Steve Smith, who has already proven himself to be an offensive force; Sinorice Moss, a speedster with mediocre hands, and Mario Manningham, a fast receiver with good hands, from what I saw of him in college, yet he hasn’t seen much action this season.
They also picked up Domenik Hixon, who has proven himself to be a reliable receiver.
I was, however, proven wrong when the offense stalled without its star receiver. Even the run game was affected, mainly from the double-coverages from the secondary that were dropped as a result of the absence of Plax.
If the Giants don’t bring back Plax, or another star receiver, their offense will suffer. There are a number of talented receivers up for free agency this year, and the Giants may very well reel one in.
Two possible candidates: T.J. Houshmandzadeh, the ultra-versatile Bengals receiver, or Antonio Bryant, the still-young former second-round draft pick who resurrected his recently disappointing career with an amazing season in 2008.
If the Giants are able to capture one of these receivers during free agency, I see no reason to bring back Burress, who has been a distraction with his teams ever since his days at Michigan State.
That is the major knock against Burress. The shooting incident was not his first disruption.
He was the most fined player in the league this season, and was almost as much a distraction as old T.O. So if the Giants can bring in a receiver with Burress’s ability, but not the amount of distraction he brings to the team, I see no reason to have Burress anywhere near Giants training camp come July.