New England Patriots: Why Signing Plaxico Burress Makes Sense

Joe FitzhenryCorrespondent IIAugust 13, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 04:   DeAngelo Hall #23 of the Washington Redskins breaks up a pass instended for  Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Jets during a game at FedExField on December 4, 2011 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots worked out Plaxico Burress on Sunday and signing him down the road remains a possibility. 

While not exactly the first pairing you would think of, signing Burress actually makes sense for three main reasons. 

Be sure to read ahead and see three of the reasons why I think signing Burress could actually help the team. 


Still Productive

Just last season, the Michigan State alum caught eight touchdown passes with the rival Jets and would give the Patriots a big-time threat in the red zone. The 45 catches aren't great by Plaxico's standards, but playing with a guy like Tom Brady should help boost those numbers.

He would greatly increase the depth at the position and as I mentioned earlier, provide a true red zone weapon that the Patriots haven't had since Randy Moss skipped town. 


Lack of Depth

Given the current state of the roster at running back and tight end, it seems strange to consider the overall lack of depth as a reason to sign Plaxico, but the Pats could use another weapon for Brady to throw to.

Brandon Lloyd and Wes Welker are cemented into the top two spots, but beyond them is where things get hairy. Deion Branch is rapidly aging and has shown signs of being on the decline, Julian Edelman isn't seen as anything more than a productive slot receiver and Jabar Gaffney and Donte' Stallworth are complete wildcards.

A guy like Burress could ease the pressure on Lloyd and Welker and add another dangerous element to what is already one of the league's most explosive attacks. 


Bill Belichick

The Chad Johnson experiment may not have worked out, but I hear he's available now so maybe they could give him a second chance.

Just kidding, but back to the Belichick thing, time and again we have seen veterans with baggage or cast-offs elsewhere come and make good in New England. 

In a similar situation to this one, people once widely questioned the Randy Moss addition for the Patriots, but he turned out to have arguably the greatest season ever by a wide receiver in NFL history. 

The ending wasn't great, with Moss pulling some of his usual antics, but he still produced in New England. 

Burress doesn't need to post Moss-type numbers so why not take a waiver on a guy who is still productive and could actually help the team? 

If he could haul in 50 passes and catch another eight touchdown, that makes the signing well worth it. Belichick will help keep him in line so there's not much reason to be concerned about the two-year jail sentence that Plax once served. 

At the end of the day,  by potentially signing Plaxico Burress, the Patriots not only add depth but pick up a veteran receiver who can catch a few touchdowns and be a reliable target for Brady in the red zone.