Plaxico Burress: 5 Reasons the Oakland Raiders Should Target Receiver
As NFL fans, we should be accustomed to this by now. Anytime a big name remains available, rumors will swirl and fanbases will begin to wonder whether their team is the right fit.
With the signing of Cedric Benson seemingly imminent in Green Bay, the focus in Raider Nation has shifted to Plaxico Burress and whether the former gun-wielding club-goer has a place in the silver and black.
While there are plenty of reasons to believe the Raiders are better off without the mercurial Burress, that's not to say the other side doesn't have any basis for its argument. In fact, here are five reasons we believe the Raiders could find some value in adding the 10th-year man out of Michigan State.
The one argument that can't be made for signing Burress is the lack of talent in Oakland. With guys like Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, talent will not be the problem this season.
That said, however, none of those guys have been in the league for more than three seasons, and they could use a proven veteran to further their growth.
In Burress, the Raiders would get a guy who has seen it all: championships, mistakes, accolades, fame and more. His presence would allow the youngsters to see what it takes to be a champion while learning from the mistakes that a guy like Plaxico has made.
While I mentioned the Raiders have plenty of talent at wide receiver, the one other blemish amongst the unit is the lack of a go-to, sure-handed wide receiver at crunch time.
Last season, that player was Heyward-Bey, who improved by leaps and bounds, and nearly tripled his reception count from the previous year. Unfortunately, however, Heyward-Bey's consistency still remained a problem.
While there is reason to believe that Heyward-Bey will continue to progress, a team like the Raiders could really use a guy to lean on in key situations.
Sure, Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore have proven to be reliable in the past two seasons, but both of those guys have filled a different kind of role in Oakland, whether it is the role of a speedster or a slot receiver.
In Burress, the Raiders would be getting a well-respected player who would command the opposing team's top defensive back, and someone they could rely on to both get open and catch the ball when needed.
Again, this isn't to say the Raiders would be in trouble without him; it's just another facet that he could bring to the table.
Defensively, the Raiders can turn to a guy like Richard Seymour for advice on what it looks and feels like to become a winner.
Offensively, however, there isn't a star player who has even been to the Super Bowl.
In Burress, the Raiders would be adding a guy who not only has won the Super Bowl, but actually recorded the winning catch (in 2008 with the New York Giants).
With playoff and championship aspirations prevalent throughout both the organization and the fanbase, a guy like Burress could act as a leader in guiding this team in that direction.
In fact, you can never have too many guys in the locker room who know what it's like to win.
Some people say all publicity is good publicity, and whether you believe that or not, the addition of Burress would thrust the Raiders further into relevancy.
Even if Burress was unable to be a major contributor this season, the signing would get people talking, and it would send a clear message around the league: the Raiders are ready to win now.
While any addition can fire up a fanbase, Plaxico's arrival would not only send shock waves throughout Oakland but throughout the country. Despite an overwhelming amount of talent in Oakland, few people around the country seem to respect what the Raiders are doing.
Despite the explosiveness of Heyward-Bey, Moore and Ford, few people are talking about the Oakland receivers. Lets just say people would be talking about Oakland if Burress were to come to town.
Spice Things Up
Finally, the fifth reason the Raiders should sign Burress is simple: Wouldn't it be fun?
Sure, the Raiders already kind of have a mish-mash of personalities and talent levels with guys like Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Terrelle Pryor, Richard Seymour and Rolando McClain—but the addition of Burress would only further the excitement.
How would the locker room respond? Does he still have anything left? (He did have 45 catches for over 600 yards last season.)
At the very least, few people could argue it wouldn't make things interesting.
But, like I said at the beginning, there are also plenty of reasons the Raiders shouldn't sign Plaxico. All it comes down to is weighing both options and deciding which side makes more sense.
So what do you think?