The New York Jets appear to be the current favorites to land free agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress, and according to The Pittsburgh Gazette's Ed Bouchette, are "expected to make a big pitch" to land the controversial pass-catcher.
Bouchette reports that the New York Giants are unlikely to re-sign Burress, so the race is again down to the Jets and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Burress landing with the Jets seems to be the more logical scenario. The Steelers have a logjam of talent at the receiver position with Mike Wallace, Hines Ward, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, and Burress would seem an odd fit with Pittsburgh. Even with the Steelers releasing Antwaan Randle-El, it is difficult to project them adding Burress on to what essentially be a fourth or fifth wideout role.
The Jets, however, are hemorrhaging talent at the receiver position, and are in far greater need of Burress' services.
After losing receiver Brad Smith to the Buffalo Bills and apparently deciding not to re-sign Braylon Edwards, the Jets could use some playmaking ability at a position which currently features freshly re-signed receiver Santonio Holmes and roster mainstay Jerricho Cotchery. In New York, Burress could project as a starting wideout, pushing Cotchery to a slot receiver or rotational role.
If the Jets do indeed ink Burress to a deal, though, who figures to gain the most?
Mark Sanchez for one. Sanchez will be losing some familiar targets, but would gain a veteran talent in Burress, a player who should adapt quickly to any offensive scheme. There are still questions lingering in regards to Burress' conditioning and speed, but his size and resume are hard to argue, and there is still a good chance that he can prove a solid downfield, playmaking option for an NFL offense.
While Edwards may have been a solid down field target for Sanchez at times, he ultimately proved too unreliable for the Jets to move forward with him. If New York lands Burress, look for Sanchez's passing accuracy to improve on throws of 20 or more yards, and look for the Jets offense to become more efficient with big play opportunities.