If Buddy Nix and Chan Gailey mean it when they say they are always trying to make the team better, then they should be thinking about signing Plaxico Burress. Especially with the injury to David Nelson, Buffalo has to be looking for another wide receiver with NFL experience to add to its roster.
The obvious elephant in the room is how Burress would co-exist with Stevie Johnson, after Johnson’s touchdown celebration last year that made fun of Burress shooting himself in the leg. Johnson reached out to Burress after the Jets game last year, but Burress didn’t respond. I would think these two would be professionals and put that incident behind them.
As far as on the field, Burress still has a couple years of football in him. Burress is a Super Bowl champion and had one of the best games a wide receiver has ever had in the 2007 NFC Championship game in Green Bay. If nothing else, he could have a few tips on how to play the Jets, something the Bills could desperately use judging by last week.
It’s mind-blowing to anyone who’s not an NFL general manager that Burress hasn’t even received a call from a team to play this year. In 2011, Burress played in all 16 games, catching 45 passes for 616 yards and eight touchdowns. In comparison, Stevie Johnson led the Bills with seven touchdowns a year ago, and only Johnson and Nelson had more than 23 catches from the wide receiver position.
Burress knows he’s not going to be a starter, and he’s willing to accept a limited role this year. He’s a huge target in the red zone, but he could also be a third or fourth receiver. If he gave the Bills numbers like he had last year, it would be a huge addition to a Buffalo offense in need of weapons.
The Bills have gone down the veteran wide receiver road before, when they signed Terrell Owens in 2009. This would work out better than the Owens experiment because Owens came in expecting to be the primary target. He had a good season, but he was taking away reps from Johnson. Burress would be a complement to Johnson and Donald Jones.
Of course, if Buffalo were to sign Burress, it would probably be four or five weeks before he got on the field because Gailey wouldn’t think “he’s ready.” I’m getting tired of hearing how players don’t understand the offense well enough to play. That was the reason why T.J. Graham didn't play a week ago, and he could be starting out of necessity. If Graham really didn’t understand the offense well enough to suit up a week ago, he shouldn’t play this week either.
If these players really don’t understand the offense well enough to play, Gailey should think about simplifying the system to make it easier to learn. It’s not like his offense has produced outrageous numbers. If players can’t understand the offense, maybe that shows that Gailey’s system isn’t up to par with the rest of the NFL.
If Burress isn’t on the field for the Bills by the time they play New England in Week 4, I’ll be disappointed. He’s not going to cost a lot of money, he would sign tomorrow and he doesn’t need to understand the entire offense to run a fade route in the corner of the end zone.
We’ll see if Gailey and Nix actually mean what they say.