Plaxico Burress: 4 NFL Rosters Former Jets WR Could Still Improve
Plaxico Burress may be 34 years old, but the man still has a few years of football left.
With his combination of size, strength and leaping ability, Burress can certainly improve more than a few teams. The Carolina Panthers, for one, are a team of interest.
According to WFNZ in Charlotte via Sports Radio Interviews, Burress favors the Cats:
No doubt about it. My brother lives right there in Charlotte, my cousin lives there in Charlotte and all my family is there in Columbia, South Carolina. Not just that but playing with Cam (Newton) who I think is one of the top five quarterbacks in all of football and as long as I can remember Steve Smith has been one of my favorites. I just think it’s a great situation.
To that end, let's check out the Panthers and some other teams Burress could help in 2012.
It couldn't hurt the Washington Redskins to keep adding talent to the receiver position.
Rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III has an abundance of targets to work with, but Plaxico Burress would at the very least be a red-zone threat.
Washington has reliable receivers in Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss and Josh Morgan, but none present the fade route and stretch a defense quite like Plax. Given RG3's mobility and the potential of the Redskins' running game, Burress would flourish in our nation's capital.
Against the improved pass defenses of the NFC East, Burress' presence alone will create more single coverage situations for Garcon, Morgan and the tight ends.
Now include Griffin's accuracy and arm strength and Burress will have his scoring opportunities as well. Even in a limited role that's restricted to obvious passing situations and the red zone, Burress provides the simple attack of tossing it up and letting him go get it.
The Redskins would also be limiting the aggressiveness of the division's dominant pass-rushers. In turn, the ground game has more success and play-action becomes more effective.
The Cleveland Browns can always use all the help they can get, and Plaxico Burress fits that bill.
The Browns may not be the most appealing team to Plax, but Cleveland has the pieces to build on in Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden.
Cleveland is also a place where Burress could make a stronger and more immediate impact. The Browns don't have any dominant receivers that can consistently beat single coverage, and he could see inflated stats as the best target.
Also, Burress and Richardson could feed off one another in keeping the Browns' offense balanced. Regardless of schedule strength, Cleveland has to rely on Richardson to open up the rest of the playbook.
Play-action then becomes more honorable to a defense and Burress' presence alone takes pressure off the rest of the Cleveland receiving corps. Weeden also has a strong enough arm to consistently connect downfield and let Burress make plays.
In the red zone is where the Browns would love to have Burress, because the fade/corner routes will either beat man coverage or draw a double-team. Doing so will ensure more touchdown efficiency for Cleveland this season.
Plaxico Burress makes for a great complement to fellow veteran Reggie Wayne in Indianapolis.
The Colts could use one more experienced veteran wideout, and someone with Burress' size will do wonders with Andrew Luck under center. Indy also plays a tough defensive division with Houston and Jacksonville, so having Burress opposite Wayne could help to limit some of that aggressiveness.
It's obviously not the most ideal situation, considering that the Colts are coming off a 2-14 season. However, Burress would have a great opportunity for revived success in Circle City. The Colts don't play an overly-demanding schedule and Burress would be utilized in most situations, if not all.
With younger targets like Blair White and Austin Collie, Luck has reliability across the board. Not to mention in his tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen.
Burress would see a lot of man coverage with Wayne playing opposite, and get many targets over the middle and deep. Indy's running game would benefit from this as well, thus fielding a balanced attack to help with Luck's development.
As the season progresses, the Colts would become more fluid and enjoy significantly improved production.
As mentioned in the introduction, Carolina is of great interest to Plaxico.
Of all the teams in the league, the Panthers are the best option as well. With a proven quarterback in Cam Newton, who displayed an immense amount of potential in 2011, Burress would also be teamed up with Steve Smith and a reliable target in Brandon LaFell.
The Panthers' rushing attack would simply feed off the effective passing game and run wild after Newton and company are done slicing up defenses early on. We also can't forget about the capabilities of tight end Greg Olsen and the dynamic running backs.
The Panthers also play in a defensively weak division, so Burress would easily dominate more consistently and see plenty of single coverage with Smith drawing attention. Burress also helps the development of Newton who still has to improve as a pocket passer.
With Burress and Smith to target downfield, Newton can make two quick reads and the worst-case scenario would be to connect with LaFell or Olsen. The Cats' offense is already well balanced and explosive, but the addition of Burress would immediately put Carolina on the postseason map.
John Rozum on Twitter.