Plaxico Burress: 8 NFL Teams That Would Be the Best Fit
Plaxico Burresss is getting out of jail soon and ready to return to the NFL. How much have his skills diminished? Can he still contribute to a winning team? Do his legal issues make him too big a risk for teams to take on?
Nobody knows the answers, but there are a number of teams out there that could use a wide receiver and at least one will be willing to take a risk.
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"Plaxico Burress becomes a Raider." Can't you see it plastering newspapers across the country?
Al Davis has a history of going after troubled players, and with Darrius Heyward-Bey not living up to the 40-time he posted at the Combine, the Raiders are in need of a veteran receiver to produce and help the still-young prospect along.
The acquisition of Burress would shock nearly every NFL team's fanbase in the country; Oakland is the exception.
New England Patriots
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The Patriots, believe it or not, are a bit similar to the Raiders. That is, both teams are willing to take risks on players with troubled pasts. Think Randy Moss and Corey Dillon.
The difference between the teams is the risks the Pats take generally work out.
New England has one of the smallest receiving corps in the league after Moss's departure, and Burress would be a welcome addition to a group starring Wes Welker and Deion Branch.
New York Giants
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Osi Umenyiora and Eli Manning have both come out in recent weeks in support of bringing back their former teammate.
The Giants had wide receiver depth issues last season, and Burress could act as insurance should Steve Smith or Hakeem Nicks go down again with injuries.
The Giants are probably one of the favorites at this point, if only because of the familiarity of both sides with one another.
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For the first time in a long time, the Ravens have a more-than-competent quarterback in Joe Flacco.
The need a few more weapons for him to throw to. Burress would likely be a cheap risk with possible high payout. When healthy and in-shape, Burress is a playmaker who can go up for any ball against any defender.
The question is: what kind of shape is Burress in?
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The Bills have shown they are willing to take risks at wide receiver (Randy Moss), and are in desperate need of re-engaging their fanbase and putting a competitive team on the field.
They finally have a quarterback, in Ryan Fitzpatrick, they feel comfortable throwing on the field every Sunday but need to give him someone besides Steve Johnson to throw to.
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The Falcons are again flying high after their trip to the doldrums following Michael Vick's prison sentence. Matt Ryan is carrying the load, but his receiving corps are inconsistent.
Mike Mularkey, the Falcons OC, was the Steelers OC for some of Burress's prime seasons, and if Burress is anywhere near where he was as a Giant, Mularkey would love to have his former receiver back in the fold.
Burress also makes his home in Atlanta which would be a nice perk if he wanted to play for the Falcons.
New York Jets
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The Jets have a solid group of receivers and a good, young quarterback. They made the AFC Championship game and can afford to take a risk on a player like Burress.
If Burress does not return to the Giants, the glitz and glamour of a New York return with the current media darlings of the city could be an attractive enough pull for Burress to consider.
Under Rex Ryan, the Jets have not been afraid of controversy, and picking up a receiver straight from prison would keep in line with what they have been doing.
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Bad teams need money. There are two ways to go about it. One is to make your bad team good. The other is to create fan interest in a product that's fun to watch even if it doesn't win.
Burress could help accomplish either goal. He has winning experience with both the Giants and Steelers and, if jail has made him smarter, could teach the young players on the Browns about life in the NFL, even if his physical skills don't allow him to be the player he once was.
Burress is still as good or better than the receivers the Browns have and could help them take a step forward next season in the wins column as well.