NFL Free Agency: The Top 5 Landing Spots for Plaxico Burress
Plaxico Burress, the 6'5'', 33 year old wide receiver, was released from an Upstate New York prison this morning.
In today's NFL, a big, physical wide receiver is a highly valuable commodity for any team, and Burress absolutely fits the bill.
Before his arrest for gun charges after infamously shooting himself in the leg at a night club and almost two years in a correctional facility, Burress was a member of the New York Giants.
He had a career year in the Giants Super Bowl winning season of 2007. Burress collected 12 touchdowns, and over 1,000 yards on the season. In the playoffs, he had an astounding 151 yards on 11 catches in the NFC Championship game against Green Bay, and caught the winning touchdown with under 40 seconds left in Super Bowl XLII against the New England Patriots.
With the recent success of Michael Vick, after he was imprisoned, many teams will be chomping at the bit for Burress.
Here are the top five landing spots for Burress.
Josh Rosenblat is a high school student from Chicago looking to find a way to break into sports journalism. He often writes about the NBA (primarily the Chicago Bulls), as well as the MLB, college basketball, Tennis and the NFL. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @JMRosenblat. Feel free to send him comments.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
Nick Laham/Getty Images
The Eagles already have an excellent offensive strategy in place and with the speedsters of DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. With the burners on the outside, Burress could be an excellent red zone target for Vick and the physical, over-the-middle receiver such as Burress could enhance this prolific offense even more.
Overall, with the Eagles' tight-knit locker room and their high-powered passing offense, Burress would make a great fit for Philadelphia in the 2011 NFL Season, and maybe onto the future.
4. Chicago Bears
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Every offseason for the past few years, the Chicago Bears have had major questions about quarterback and wide receiver. But, with the long-term signing of Jay Cutler at QB, it has been the wide outs that have been troublesome for Chicago.
In recent years, the Bears have had a group of second or third string wide receivers, that are being asked to perform the duties of go-to wide receivers.
Speedsters such as Johnny Knox and Devin Hester are great for stretching the field, but in the red-zone and on third down, the Bears struggled to find an open receiver willing to be physical and run over the middle of the field.
The physical prowess that Plaxico Burress provides could be a huge asset for a team that was just seven points away from making an appearance in last February's Super Bowl.
With the combination of Cutler's strong arm, and Burress's physicality and height, the Bears offense could finally be a force to be reckoned with.
3. New England Patriots
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Wait, what? The Patriots don't make these kind of big-name free agent signings!
Like Burress, Moss was an impact wide receiver with some supposed "character issues." The winning culture that New England has instilled behind the leadership of both Belichick and Tom Brady will be crucial for Burress to motivate himself to have a major impact on the team.
Also, the Patriots lost Super Bowl XLII on Burress's game-winning touchdown after an undefeated season, so they all know how talented Burress was.
Overall, the Pats need a deep threat, a la Randy Moss, in order for Wes Welker to be extremely effective in the slot, which is a major key for the New England offense. And Burress would definitely fit the bill as that game-changing threat.
2. New York Jets
Nick Laham/Getty Images
After all the drama, Plaxico Burress may not leave New York at all.
The former Giant could, quite possibly, be a member of the New York Jets whenever the current NFL lockout is lifted.
The Jets have wide receivers Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith, all of whom are set to become free agents when the lockout has ended.
With the potential loss of one, maybe two, of these players, Jets' quarterback, Mark Sanchez, would need a player like Burress to be an effective and balanced offense.
The Jets have the space, and the needs for Burress, but is just a matter of them believing that the 33 year old Burress will be a successful NFL player once again.
1. St. Louis Rams
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
When the St. Louis Rams' head coach, Steve Spagnuolo, was the Defensive Coordinator with the New York Giants, he had to coach against Plaxico Burress every practice.
Now, as the head coach of the Rams, he has one of the best young quarterbacks in the league in Sam Bradford. But, the Rams have the weakest receiving core in the league.
St. Louis would be an ideal fit for Burress because he can help in the development of Sam Bradford and he also has a strong connection with Spagnuolo. Also, St. Louis is a small market city where Burress will not be bothered as heavily by the media and he could maintain his focus on football.
With Burress in the lineup, Bradford would have a major improvement in wide receiver and the Rams could have a chance to win the extremely weak NFC West in 2011.