Plaxico Burress: A Perfect Fit for the Philadelphia Eagles

WesAnalyst IMay 25, 2011

Always killed the Eagles and nearly himself.
Always killed the Eagles and nearly himself.Doug Benc/Getty Images

When football fans across the country are not focusing on the current NFL lockout they are  engaging in a hot debate that will unfold on June 6.

On that date, former New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress will be released from jail following a two-year prison sentence for possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment. 

It has fans and front office personnel asking themselves: Is Burress a good fit for my team?

Fans immediately ask themselves if Burress is in shape and how their respective city—and fan base—would receive a man looking to reestablish himself in society following a felony conviction.

In Philadelphia fans should acknowledge Burress does not need to be in prime shape and that he would be accepted by a majority of the fans and those who live in the city.

Take a look at the Eagles roster and you will see they have depth at receiver for the first time in Andy Reid's tenure as head coach. The influx of receivers means Burress does not have to be the man out there during his first season. He can hide behind the talents of players like DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin.

As the season progresses and he gets into football shape he is the perfect target for an Eagles offense that often sputters in the redzone.

And the man throwing him potential fades in the endzone? Another convicted felon, Michael Vick.

Think about this for a minute: Vick killed dogs.

For whatever reason, society goes nuts about someone killing or hurting an animal. When you compare what Vick did to someone who shot himself in the leg while carrying a concealed weapon, you almost shrug your shoulders and act like you don't care.

If there was no one to compare Burress against you might have a different reaction about what he did. But since Philadelphia has this comparison, it can't be ignored as a factor and a reason to believe fans would be willing to welcome him with open arms.

Once fans realize his physical condition is not a pressing issue and his acceptance would not take long, they begin to look at the wide receiver depth chart again and wonder if you really need this guy on your roster—or if he is a waste of money.

That's when things get interesting.

We can all agree he would be a jump-ball machine in the endzone. But fans begin to fracture when you actually look at his monetary value.

In order to see his true value you need to look down the road.

In 2011 DeSean Jackson will earn $565,000. He can piss and moan all he wants because that's what he's getting.

Trot him out at that price next year and break the bank to bring in cornerback and soon-to-be free agent, Nnamdi Asomugha.

With those two moves in hand you sign Burress to a multi-year deal at a relatively cheap price.

In 2012, you part ways with Jackson, Burress fills the void and the money saved on a new contract with Jackson helps pay Asomugha.

Eagles fans will cry bloody murder over the thought of parting ways with Jackson, but they are the same fans who were upset to see Brian Dawkins go. Sometimes the fans get attached and don't realize how mediocre a player is at the time until they leave town.

Jackson is going to want big-time money. His 62, 63 and 47 receptions per year do not warrant that kind of money.

Yes, he has big-play ability, but the Eagles would be foolish to overpay Jackson for his exciting punt returns when they could have a solution to their redzone woes in Burress and a shutdown corner in Asomugha.