Plaxico Burress will be a free man and a free agent in about three weeks, which likely means he’ll join a free-agent pool still waiting to be drained upon the launch of a new league year (whenever that comes).
So, where might he land? ESPN’s Adam Schefter figures there’s a decent chance Burress returns to the city in which he spent four seasons and won a Super Bowl trophy before literally and figuratively shooting himself in the foot in 2008.
Asked in a recent ESPN Insider mailbag if he thought Burress might land with the Jets in 2011, here’s what Schefter had to say:
It would make sense, Jake. Last year, when some thought Burress might be paroled, the Jets were one of the teams that would have been interested. This offseason, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith all have expired contracts. Edwards is certain to be an unrestricted free agent, but no one knows yet whether Holmes or Smith will be. But my sense is that Burress’ potential future with New York would be tied to the fates of those other three wide receivers. The Jets would like to bring back all of them, but that is probably not realistic.
New York already has drafted a potential replacement for Smith, using a fifth-round pick on TCU wide receiver and return man Jeremy Kerley. Now the question is, can the Jets keep Edwards and Holmes? If they can’t, then the chances of Burress winding up with New York increase. But I also wouldn’t dismiss the St. Louis Rams as a potential landing spot. Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo knows how talented Burress is from their time together with the New York Giants. Burress will have his suitors and he could wind up anywhere, but the Jets and Rams are as logical landing spots as any.
Burress would be a terrible replacement for Holmes, who has emerged as the best receiver on the team and has become significantly more productive than Burress was in his final few seasons with the Giants. Two and a half years later, I don’t think Burress compares to Holmes at all, especially as Santonio approaches his prime.
Edwards is only 28 and is also probably more valuable than Burress. He had a big bounce-back season last year in New York. As a result of that, though, he’ll probably be more expensive than Burress.
Schefter also mentions the Rams as a possible landing spot for Burress, noting that Steve Spagnuolo used to “coach him” with the Giants (Spags was the defensive coordinator). I don’t see this happening at all. The Rams have two stellar receiving options in Donnie Avery and Mark Clayton, and I think they want to see how those two rebound after suffering injuries that ruined their 2009 seasons. The team also took receivers in the third and fourth round of last month’s draft and found something in Danny Amendola last year.
If I had to guess, I’d say Burress becomes a complementary receiver with the Jets.