Plaxico Burress: New England Patriots to Work Out Free-Agent Wide Receiver

Oliver Thomas@OliverBThomasContributor IAugust 12, 2012

Burress is a long and lanky pass-catcher on the open market.
Burress is a long and lanky pass-catcher on the open market.Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images

The New England Patriots are bringing in unsigned veteran wideout Plaxico Burress for a workout, according to a tweet from ESPN's Adam Schefter:



Free-agent WR Plaxico Burress is flying today to New England to work out for the Patriots, the team he helped beat in SBXLII. More on ESPN.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 12, 2012 reports that the Patriots are the first team to offer Burress a tryout this offseason.

The 35-year-old has four 1,000-yard receiving campaigns on his resume and has eclipsed double-digit touchdowns in two different seasons.

Largely due to his athletic 6'5" frame, Burress is a deep-ball target that has been able to stretch the field throughout his NFL career. He creates matchup problems against smaller cornerbacks and can be a threat in the red zone.

For most New England fans, Burress is remembered for snagging the game-winning touchdown pass against the then-perfect Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

Since that moment, however, it has been a fall from grace for the No. 8 overall pick in the 2000 NFL draft.

In 2009, the Michigan St. product was sentenced to two years in jail for accidentally shooting himself in the leg with an unlicensed gun. His football gig was put on hold for two seasons, and there was no guarantee he would ever suit up again.

But last season, the route-runner made a comeback with the New York Jets. He finished 2011 with 45 catches for 612 yards and eight scores. In a game last October against the San Diego Chargers, Burress caught four passes for 25 yards and a gaudy three touchdowns—exemplifying his playing style.

The Pats' interest in Burress is surprising, as the club currently has 10 wide receivers on the 90-man roster. And, since free agency began in March, the Patriots have acquired the likes of Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Donte' Stallworth.

Lloyd, Gaffney and Stallworth are all vets on the wrong side of 30, so it's intriguing for New England to be checking out another seasoned pro like Burress.

But putting it in perspective, the Burress inspection is just another instance of head coach Bill Belichick and director of player personnel Nick Caserio leaving no stone unturned.'s Christopher Price offered his opinion via Twitter:

The Patriots are kicking the proverbial "tires" when it comes Plaxico Burress.

If he impresses, maybe he will be added to the stocked receiving corps. If not, no harm is done by seeing what a player has left in the tank.