Blog Entry

Could Plaxico Burress end up back in Pittsburgh?

Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:09 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 11:30 am
Posted by Ryan Wilson

We spent a lot of time Monday explaining why the Steelers should pass on 36-year-old running back Tiki Barber (you'd think the phrase "36-year-old running back" would suffice in scaring off potential suitors; apparently not). But Barber's not the only former NFL player on the wrong side of 30 looking for gainful employment.

Plaxico Burress, fresh out of prison and more than two years removed from his last NFL game, wants to get back in the league. Interest has been lukewarm, although that may change once the lockout ends and free agency begins.

For now, though, Sports Illustrated's Peter King is "mind-boggled" by the tepid interest in Burress. King writes: "Just stupid. In the right offense he'll be the big target many teams lack, and, if healthy, he'll catch 60-plus balls and be a good deep threat. At worst? He's not going to cost much. What's the downside? Rams, Browns? Tell me. I'm dying to know."

Well, one team that appears to be interested also drafted Burress in 2000. Yep, the Steelers.

Twitastic details via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette beat reporter Gerry Dulac.

"Steelers coaches are interested in Burress but depends on price. They would release Randle El to make room."

We have little trouble believing the Steelers would release Antwaan Randle El. By the end of the season, he had lost his job to rookies Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. And while Randle El is a valuable locker room presence, he doesn't have much left as a player.

Whether that means Burress could replace him is another conversation. Ben Roethlisberger has long supported Burress and lobbied the organization to keep Burress when his contract expired after the 2004 season.

Roethlisberger has also said previously that he likes throwing to tall targets, even though, on average, height doesn't have any bearing on a wide receiver's effectiveness. For recent proof, just look at Limas Sweed. Of course, if Dulac is right, Steelers coaches might consider Burress the type of player they were hoping Sweed would grow into.

In the end, we remain skeptical about Burress returning to Pittsburgh. The Steelers have Mike Wallace, Hines Ward and Sanders at the top of the depth chart, and Brown will likely be the No. 4 wide receiver. We're not sure there are enough snaps to go around. Or more importantly: what type of player Burress will be after spending more than 20 months in prison.

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Since: May 6, 2009
Posted on: June 21, 2011 12:02 pm

Could Plaxico Burress end up back in Pittsburgh?

I think a team would overpay to get Burress. I doubt he would take a pay cut to play for the Steelers unless he wants to win another Super Bowl. I just don't see it happening. El<Burress football player. Off-field rather deal with El>Burress. I think it would be best to let the young guys such as Sanders and Brown to get their touches this year. Not move them back cuz I hope both of them are the future of this franchise. Where would Burress be on the depth chart? #2 or #3? Wallace is very good slot and Burress is a much better route runner and is a better blocker. Demoting these young guys could turn them away. I think it is best for Steelers to just stay away. I have confidence in this team to win a championship. I wouldn't mind them signing Plax cuz I respect their decisions. I wouldn't lose sleep over it if they didn't. I don't care really. The only concern for me is the off-field issues.

Since: Aug 7, 2008
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:47 am

Could Plaxico Burress end up back in Pittsburgh?

Mr. Burress would be a significant upgrade over the aging and injury-proned Hines Ward. A 30 year old WR who just got out of prison trumps a 36 year old who just won a dancing competition ever time...and in spades!

Since: Apr 9, 2011
Posted on: June 21, 2011 11:31 am

Could Plaxico Burress end up back in Pittsburgh?


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