Pittsburgh Steelers: Antwaan Randle El Released, Will Meet with Plaxico Burress

Chris Gazze@ChrisG_PITCorrespondent IJuly 28, 2011

IRVING, TX - OCTOBER 17:  Wide reciever Plaxico Burress #80 of the Pittsburgh Steelers watches during the game with the Dallas Cowboys at Texas Stadium on October 17, 2004 in Irving, Texas. The Steelers defeated the Cowboys 24-20.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

Pittsburgh’s salary purge continued when the Steelers released Antwaan Randle El Thursday.

Randle El returned to the Steelers after spending four years with the Washington Redskins, signing a three-year, $7 million contract.

In his return, Randle El made 22 receptions for 253 yards but no touchdowns. He also was ineffective in the return game.

The emergence 2010 draft picks Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown made Randle El expendable.

Sanders overtook Randle El on the depth chart and impressed as a rookie, making 28 receptions for 376 yards and two touchdowns. He is coming off a broken foot which he suffered in the Super Bowl but expects to be the third receiver entering the season.

Brown improved as the season went on and proved to be a valuable asset making clutch catches in two playoff games to help the Steelers secure a Super Bowl berth.

The release of Randle El also means that the Steelers now have a roster spot open for a fifth wide receiver.

Is it possible that Plaxico Burress could fill that void?

Pittsburgh will meet with Burress later this week, and when asked last week if he would return to Pittsburgh by KDKA’s Bob Pompeani, he responded, “Absolutely.”

With the Steelers working to get under the cap and with a number of veterans that need to be taken care of first, chances are Burress will not return to Pittsburgh and he could be using the Steelers as leverage to get more money from another team.

Burress would give Ben Roethlisberger one of his favorite targets that he has played with as well as the tall receiver he has requested since Burress left town.

It is a mystery as to what type of shape Burress is in after missing two-and-a-half years. However, if he proves that he can still run, he could be a valuable asset to the Steelers offense.

Pittsburgh has developed into a passing team, and Burress would give the Steelers another option to put on the outside.

Burress should be low on the Steelers' priority list, though, as they need to work out their offensive line with the release of Max Starks.

With that said, Burress is a very intriguing option and definitely worth exploring. For the right price, he could be a short-term asset to Pittsburgh's offense.


Follow me on Twitter @ChrisG_FC