Pursuing Plaxico: A Home Run For the New York Jets

Brian FitzsimmonsContributor IJune 15, 2009

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 16:  Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants eludes the tackle of Fabian Washington #31 of the Baltimore Ravens during their game on November 16, 2008 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New York Jets need to heave the ultimate Hail Mary pass and find a way to get wide receiver Plaxico Burress, troubled or not, into a green uniform.


With the preseason schedule creeping up in year one of the Rex Ryan administration, the Jets continue to stand by their slim depth chart of wide receivers.


The truth, however, is that rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez doesn't have a dynamic playmaker to lean on—if, and when, he earns the starting job over Kellen Clemens.


Laveranues Coles walked through the door not long after the conclusion of the deflating 2008-09 campaign, leaving Ryan and offensive coordinator Brian Shottenheimer with a career-long No. 2 option and a handful of young, unproven entities.


Jerricho Cotchery, who recorded 71 catches and 858 yards last season, may be ready to take over the reigns as New York’s anchor in the open field. But based on their draft-day moves and Ryan’s win-now attitude, the Jets don’t have time to wonder.


It may be controversial, it may lead to disaster, but the Jets need to make a convincing push for Burress, who ruined his legacy with the Giants by carrying a gun into a New York nightclub before firing off the bullet heard around the sports world in late November.


The highly magnified case involving the superstar receiver has been adjourned until September, leading his attorney, Benjamin Brafman, to believe his client will be available to play in the fall.


According to the Associated Press, Brafman on Monday said several teams were trying to sign Burress, and "Physically he's in the best shape of his life. He's ready to play."


The Jets acknowledged publicly they had contacted Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, to inquire about him before the NFL draft in April.


Upon the Giants giving the 31-year-old his outright release, Burress became a free agent on April 3. The Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Miami Dolphins also are interested in Burress’ services, according to multiple reports over the past few weeks.


For Gang Green, it’d be tempting to at least revisit talks while Burress remains in limbo. The Jets’ brain trust would be foolish not to, considering Chansi Stuckey, David Clowney, Brad Smith, and Wallace Wright have combined for 92 career catches.


Sure, Burress might drag the franchise into the muck of his legal troubles, but wouldn’t it be worth it to sign an athletic, towering target for Sanchez to connect with at a reasonable price for the time being?


Burress will be looking for rejuvenation and a clean slate if he is able to play. Would it be so bad if he called Giants Stadium home again, though?


The fragile Jets’ offense won’t find out unless it unleashes that Hail Mary pass.