Posted by Will Brinson
So, Plaxico Burress was released on Monday morning after serving a lengthy prison sentence for shooting himself in the leg at a nightclub. The stupidity of taking a gun into a nightclub notwithstanding, it warrants mentioning that it's kind of a shame that Plax had to spend 20 months in jail for shooting himself.
But, hey, he's free now and that means it's time for us to speculate on where he might end up once we get this silly little lockout resolved and teams can start signing free agents. My man Mike Freeman says -- in the video above -- that "the minute the lockout ends" Plax will get inked with a team. And I agree wholeheartedly with him. But the question is where? Let's check out five candidates.
1. Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are the trendiest and most obvious selection for most people. We've broken down exactly why this makes sense several times over, but there are some conflicting reports about Philly's interest. One thing that really warrants watching is whether or not Burress' potential signing is affected by DeSean Jackson's imminent signing. Drew Rosenhaus, who represents both players, could decide to make Jackson's signing "easier" if the Eagles can help out Plax, or he could realize that Jackson loses out in terms of money if Plax lands in Philly. It'll be interesting to watch it unfold.
2. St. Louis Rams: Plax worked with Steve Spagnuolo when they were both with the Giants and no team in the NFL needs wide receiver help more than St. Louis. The Rams had Danny Amendola moonlighting as a No. 1 receiver during much of 2010. The problem with Burress is there's likely to be a bit of a re-learning curve when he returns to the NFL, and if the Rams are expecting top-line production from Burress, they may be disappointed. That being said, mixing a veteran, (now) possession receiver like Plax with the speed of someone like Mardy Gilyard and the short-yardage catching skills of Amendola would be an interesting set of weapons for quarterback Sam Bradford. If I've got to guess one team to put Plax on, it's the Rams.
3. New York Jets: It might seem like the Jets will sign anyone, but remember that their ability to get the most out of big-name veterans like LaDainian Tomlinson led to their success last year. Also, if they signed Plax, Randy Moss and then re-upped Santonio Holmes, they will have the most combustible and talented wide receiving corps in the history of the NFL. However, that may be why Plax doesn't end up playing for Rex Ryan's crew -- some folks believe that if the Jets land Moss, they won't bother pursuing Burress.
4. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings have an interesting situation on their hands, because in one respect, it would make sense to chase Plax, if they believe that they can make a run right now. Which, by the way, they likely do. Or if they believe that Burress can come into town and help develop Christian Ponder into a franchise quarterback. On the other hand, they might feel like Plax doesn't represent someone who can help them right now, or they might believe that they don't need wide receiver help. The latter is likely dependent on how the labor situation shakes out. Sidney Rice's status as either a restricted or an unrestricted free agent will drastically alter things. Don't forget that the Vikings already had a failed Moss experiment, and perhaps that will scare them off of trying to bring in Burress.
5. Oakland Raiders: I'm not entirely convinced that the Raiders will really be in the mix for Burress, but as long as Al Davis is still doing his best Bernie Lomax impersonation, I'm not willing to rule anything out either. The Raiders have a ridiculous amount of speed at wide receiver with Louis Murphy, Jacoby Ford, and Darrius Heyward-Bey. Burress would be a nice compliment to that, although you'd have to think that Rosenhaus would only point his client in the direction of the Bay Area if some of the other above options don't pan out.
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