Cleveland Browns: A Deeper Look into the Plaxico Burress to Browns Rumors

Brian MurtaughAnalyst IMarch 6, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  Wide receiver Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants warms up for the game with the Arizona Cardinals on November 23, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants won 37-29.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns have had their fair share of woes at the wide receiver position over the last two years and the new leaders of the franchise seem to be well aware of it.

The Browns have already stated this offseason that the thought of acquiring a player with "conduct issues" may not necessarily be a big deal to the team and will look to add players that they consider fit into Pat Shurmur's new offense.

Plaxico Burress is not just any player with a conduct issue. Burress was once one of the best receivers in the NFL before he made the poor decision to bring a gun with him to a nightclub a few short years ago. After the smoke settled, Burress not only had a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but a large amount of jail time and possibly a career down the drain.

Burress played a total of nine seasons before his unfortunate incident with both the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers. His best season came in 2007 when he caught 70 passes for 1,200 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Browns have not had a receiver go over 1,000 yards since both Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow did it in 2007.

Cleveland has had an obvious need at the wideout position since 2009 when Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn quarterbacked one of the worst offensive attacks in Browns history.

Burress was a threat to break a big play on seemingly every down during his career, but had career lows in almost every category in his last professional season.

Even though Burress' numbers declined, he never had a season with less than four touchdown catches since his rookie year in 2000.

The Browns have not had any player catch four touchdowns in a year since 2007.

That means that Cleveland has not had a player catch four touchdown passes in four seasons. It is that lack of offensive production that has the organization even considering the possibility of looking at a player like Burress.

Burress was also the type of receiver that made an impact in streak routes rather than in slants or drags. Cleveland already has capable receivers in Mohammed Massaqoui and Josh Cribbs, but both lack the ability to burn coverage on deep routes.

Burress has been out of the game for over two years and has not even been involved in any type of football activities. He was also a nine-year veteran before he even got involved with his legal issues.

It will be interesting to gauge the Browns' interest in Burress after his release in June but in the meantime it is a topic worth thinking about for Cleveland's front office.


Brian Murtaugh is a Cleveland Browns featured columnist for Bleacher Report and also the lead columnist for Browns Central.