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Plaxico Burress: What the Free Agent Wide Receiver Would Bring to an NFL Team

Thomas ConroyCorrespondent IJuly 26, 2011

Plaxico Burress: What the Free Agent Wide Receiver Would Bring to an NFL Team

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    Finally after two years inside a federal prison, wide receiver Plaxico Burress will once again play in the NFL.

    A number of teams will have agent Drew Rosenhaus' cell phone number on speed dial to begin the bidding for his services once the free agency period begins.

    Let’s take a look at what Burress will bring to an NFL team.

Depth

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    Some teams will explore the open market for a veteran to help mentor their talented, but young, wide receivers.

    Burress will provide quality depth at the position and also be viable target downfield for their quarterback. He can teach the youngsters how to use their body as a shield to keep the ball away from a cornerback. 

Redemption

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    Burress has kept himself in relatively good shape during his incarceration, and I could see him returning to one of his former teams (Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants) if they wanted him back. This would help rebuild his reputation with his former teammates, the fans and everyone associated with the organization. 

Big Target

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    Some teams are lacking a big target that can get open downfield. Burress is a very physical 6’5”, 232-pounds receiver that is a playmaker from inside the red zone (27 touchdowns in his last 42 games).

    The only question remaining is if he still has the ability to get open downfield, as Burress has always lacked quickness to separate himself from a defender. 

Head Case

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    Whatever team signs Burress is getting a player with immense talent, but a bit of a head case. He has frequently shown poor judgment throughout his career, but he never became a major distraction that ultimately divided a locker room.

    However, some of his head coaches had grown tired of his lackadaisical attitude and lack of commitment to practice. 

Age and Health

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    Burress is returning to the NFL as a 33-year-old wide receiver with a lot mileage on his long legs.

    General managers will have to answer a couple of questions: 1.) Has he lost a step? and 2.) Can Burress dominate corners like he has done in the past?

    Prior to his arrest, Burress played hurt for the majority of two seasons, as knee and ankle injuries have taken their toll on his production. 

Expectations

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    Overall, Burress can make a solid contribution as a No. 3 receiver. He hasn’t been on the field in two years and it’s very doubtful he can make a huge impact to anyone’s offense immediately.

    Michael Vick’s recent success will act as a hindrance, as the fans will put unrealistic expectations on Burress. The timing between a quarterback and a wide receiver is of the utmost importance for success and it would be a mistake for teams to expect him to jump right back into the league as an elite receiver. 

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