Let's All Just Forget About Plaxico Burress Returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers

Andrea HangstFeatured Columnist IVAugust 7, 2012

Forget about it Steeler nation: Plaxico is not coming back, and that's a good thing.
Forget about it Steeler nation: Plaxico is not coming back, and that's a good thing.Harry How/Getty Images

We've been here before, and apparently we're here again: Will the Pittsburgh Steelers make a move for free agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress?

I'm here to say that the answer is unequivocally and absolutely: No.

With contract negotiations with Mike Wallace still stalled out and apparently Burress owing a large back-tax bill, he's yet again been linked to his former team in what can only be called mathematics of convenience.

But it's not all that convenient. First is the fact that there's a reason why the Steelers didn't bite on Burress last year—they don't need him.

Even without Wallace on the field, Burress isn't necessary for the Steelers. Sure, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has repeatedly said he desires to always have a tall receiver to target, but even when his pleas weren't heeded, the Steelers still had a strong passing offense. 

Burress is nearly 35 years old, and his best days are behind him. Even if he would be willing to drop what is considered to be an expensive asking price and play for veteran minimum cash, he still wouldn't be the Steelers' best, or even third-best, receiver on the roster.

And what do the Steelers get in return from Burress? A marginal red-zone target and a major locker room cancer. Burress was booted from the team for that very reason, and there's no point in bringing that element back into the fold.

Further, the Steelers themselves appear to have no interest in meeting with Burress, let alone signing him to a one-year deal.

Team general manager Kevin Colbert spoke to 97.3 FM The Fan's "Vinnie & Cook" show on Tuesday. He said straight out that Burress is not in their plans, adding that if the Steelers do look to bring on another receiver between now and the regular season, they will do so from the pool of roster cuts instead.

If the season starts and the Steelers' main receiving corps is comprised of Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and Jerricho Cotchery, that won't hurt them. Obviously, being without their star wideout is not a situation they hope comes to pass, but they aren't doomed to failure if he's not on the field.

What Burress may be able to offer the Steelers isn't worth the drama that is always swirling about him. Wallace's holdout is enough as it is; to compound it by bringing in Burress won't make things any better, especially once Wallace comes back to the team.

So no, just as the Steelers won't be trading Wallace, they won't be bringing on an over-the-hill troublemaker like Burress to provide insurance for an extended holdout. They're trying to make this situation better, not worse, and bringing back Burress would certainly make things a lot more difficult for everyone on the team.