The Carolina Panthers exited the draft with only Joe Adams from Arkansas at the wide receiver position, leaving the onus on a familiar cast of characters for the 2012 season.
At least one big-bodied veteran receiver of interest still remains on the market as a free agent for the Panthers to target. This player played for several years with a quarterback similar in measurables to Cam Newton.
Schein and Gannon were discussing Burress' pursuit for a new NFL home along with whether or not any discussions with teams were ongoing. This came on the heels of a call-in fan of the Panthers saying the team didn't really address the second wide receiver spot. The fan did not believe the team organization should be high on the talents of Brandon LaFell or David Gettis and thought the aforementioned Adams was more of a return-specialist than a threat at receiver.
Schein, Gannon and Burress discussed destinations like Miami, Oakland and Carolina. The hosts agreed that Carolina would be a natural fit because they could use a big physical receiver across from Steve Smith.
While Burress said he hadn't had any discussions with Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, he did say that Cam Newton was a close friend and that the two communicated frequently. Burress was extremely complimentary about Carolina's offensive scheme and said he would love to be a Panther. He noted that Smith was one of his favorite players in the league, and that he loved his style of play and toughness. Burress also mentioned that he had family in Carolina, and he touched on his belief that the Panthers were an up-and-coming franchise.
I believe Burress would be a great insurance piece if a receiver like Smith went down with an injury. At 6'5" and 235 pounds, Burress is still a match-up nightmare for teams especially in the red zone. About a sixth of his catches last year went for touchdowns. He's coming off a season where he totaled 45 receptions for eight touchdowns and 612 yards.
I also don't think a player like Burress would be a locker-room disruption. That's where the beauty of having solid leaders like Newton, Smith, and DeAngelo Williams already in place really helps. Burress is going to follow suit with the song that the group is already singing. He kept his nose clean and avoided headlines in the mess that was the New York Jets circus last season. I believe he could do the same in Carolina and be productive in the more vertical passing offense that Rob Chudzinski likes to run.
So I ask you all the question: Would Plaxico Burress be worth signing to a veteran-minimum contract with incentives on a two-year deal?