NFL Rumors: Carolina Panthers Reportedly Not Interested in Plaxico Burress

Manav KhandelwalAnalyst IIJune 21, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 01:   Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets looks on during a game against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on January 1, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Plaxico Burress really wanted to play for the Carolina Panthers. Apparently the feeling isn't mutual.

According to Joe Person of The Charlotte Observer, an anonymous team official said that the front office isn't interested in the 34-year-old, who returned to football in 2011 after spending two years in jail for shooting himself in the leg with an unlicensed gun. 

Burress caught 45 balls for 612 yards and eight touchdowns for New York last season.

This announcement really shouldn't come as a surprise for two reasons.

First, Plax has been saying the same thing for the last two years: "I want to go to [insert team] because they seem like a great fit for me, and because I'd help them out in the short term." Just because he said it  on the radio, it doesn't make it anymore genuine.

Secondly, as much as people like to assume that the Panthers are desperate to upgrade at the No. 2 wide receiver position—Steve Smith is a lock at No. 1—that assumption just isn't true.

The team is high on young wideouts Brandon LaFell and David Gettis, who combined for 1,121 yards and six touchdowns in 2011. Both have immense talent and could be excellent complements for Smith on the outside.

Now, where does the NFL's highest-profile free agent go from here?

Not many teams are going to be interested in an aging receiver with past legal problems, but I'm sure one or two GMs would take a chance on the veteran if he would simply lower his asking price. Those would include teams such as Miami—who lost star wideout Brandon Marshall—and the Cleveland Browns, who need someone to help develop rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden.

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