Plaxico Burress: Why the New York Giants Shouldn't Bring Him Back

Kyle McMorrow@@Kyle_McMorrowCorrespondent IJune 13, 2011

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - DECEMBER 24:  Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants sits on the bench against the New Orleans Saints on December 24, 2006 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Saints defeated the Giants 30-7.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

Leaving prison in a Philadelphia Phillies hat, Plaxico Burress gave every indication he would be making his return to the gridiron come this season—that is, if there is one at all.

The former New York Giant however, would need to find a team first since the Giants released him back in 2009 after being arrested for attempted possession of a weapon.

Since his departure, the Giants have developed a strong and talented group of wide receivers including Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham, a core that helped Eli Manning amass over 4,000 yards in both 2009 and 2010.

While Manning's numbers continue to rise, many have wondered if bringing back Burress could help thrust the Giants back into the Super Bowl; after all, it was the combo of Plax and Eli who took apart the Green Bay Packers secondary in the 2008 NFC Championship game.

Two weeks later, they would link up again for the game-winning score in Super Bowl XLII, clinching the first title for the franchise since the 1990-91 season, so resigning the embattled receiver seems like a no-brainer right?


Since when was it wise to employ a wide receiver turning 34 who just spent the last 20 months behind bars?

The Giants don't need to roll the dice with Burress because they already have a championship caliber core of receivers in place. Nicks, Smith and Manningham have proved themselves extremely valuable; bringing in Plax would only disrupt the chemistry that has been created between Manning and his targets. 

The things that made Burress such a hit in New York—height, chemistry and play-making ability—have all been replaced.

Nicks has emerged as a No.1 option, and defenses will need to double him, just as Plax commanded. His height also gives the Giants a fade option in the end zone, which was lost after the departure of Burress.

Smith is a sure-handed threat, and has developed a great rapport with Manning, similar to the sweet harmony Manning and Burress once had. Although his knee injury is concerning, there is no reason to believe he won't be able to return to his old-form, which landed him in the Pro Bowl just two seasons ago.

As for Manningham, he is the playmaker. Super Mario has given the Giants a much needed athletic threat at the position, and has the ability to turn a five-yard pass into a 60-yard score.

Everything lost from the release of Plax has been replaced by someone. Bringing in a former star will only dim the light of those around him, and not bring the Giants any closer to another championship.

Many will make the argument that if Michael Vick can earn a happy ending, then Plaxico can find his too; the only problem here is Vick is nearly four years younger, which allowed him to sit back until he was ready to play again. 

Plaxico, on the other hand, is not getting any younger and re-signing the former Giant to what would be a multi-year deal, would mean locking up a player on the decline.

The Giants have nothing to gain from re-signing Burress and while other teams have a need at wide receiver, big blue is not one of them.

If the Giants are in the market for another receiver, the potential list of free agents stacks up much higher than anything Plaxico can bring, whether it be this year or anywhere down the road.


Kyle McMorrow, a Correspondent for Bleacher Report, is a freelance writer and news production assistant for 1010 WINS Radio in New York City. He has also worked for the Big Ten Network and ABC-TV in New York City. 

Kyle McMorrow has interviewed numerous prominent athletes, such as Larry Fitzgerald, Eli Manning and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Twitter: @Kyle_McMorrow