Just Say No to Plaxico!

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Just Say No to Plaxico!
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

Grand visions dance in my head, of a 6’5” gazelle of a receiver draped in the same green and white (and sometimes awful blue and gold) I wear every Sunday, receiving deep passes from a gun-slinging new QB. I picture having my very own Brady-to-Moss connection to root for.

Then I recover my senses and remember that I’ve had these types of visions before and know what they lead to…a season of forced smiles…awkward press conferences…the No. 4 jerseys being launched from every deck and promenade at Giants Stadium on December 28, 2008. I remember now.

Yes, the Jets need some impact help at the wide receiver position.

No, the Jets current roster of pass-catchers won't make any defense stare at their schedule in trembling fear at the prospect of having to contain them.

Yes, the Jets took a major risk in letting their steadiest receiving threat walk away, Laveranues Coles, in the same offseason they drafted a new potential franchise QB that will need all the reliability he can gather on the field with him (whenever he actually takes the field).

OK, so why is Plaxico Burress not already signed? Wait, jail? Up to three years?

I say "no," the Jets should not sign the troubled star if he’s ever free to resume his playing career.

I give a resounding “yes!” to building a foundation of talented younger players and veterans who use holsters or leave their firearms in their glove compartments. Please allow the locker room to develop a positive chemistry before adding any malcontents to it.

It's exceedingly reasonable to argue the merits of inviting a high-impact player like Burress to join your team, especially so for the eternally second-fiddle Jets. Every recent attempt they’ve made at stealing the back pages of the New York newspapers has either fallen flat or looked increasingly desperate.

On the surface, bringing in Brett Favre or Burress has some football logic to the notion, but scratch at that surface for 16 games and you'll discover that these moves are not meant to build anything positive having to do with more than one season of football.

The Jets have lacked this sort of player forever, admittedly. Without question, the Jets are a playoff contender with a healthy and happy Plaxico Burress on the roster. But frankly, the Jets are a playoff contender right now.

A short term, incentive-laden deal would do Burress plenty of good but the Jets none, as the team has too many question marks across the field to expect his addition to impact them greatly or for a very long time. The list of available WR help is currently short, but the Jets committee of receivers proved last year that they can be serviceable, and come much cheaper and without baggage.

And that’s really the point: the very best version of Plaxico Burress brings today’s Jets team no closer to a Super Bowl than they already are. In truth, the scrutiny and frenzy surrounding the move would probably do more long term damage than any immediate good. Burress was Giants royalty and they thought they'd be better off without his presence, regardless of how many games they may win after.

In light of that, the Jets can’t allow themselves to be settled upon again by another reclamation project. For the Jets, flying under the radar should be preferable to rejoining the circus.

 

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