Last offseason, Plaxico Burress was celebrating his freedom from the shackles of the New York State Department of Corrections. This offseason, he's celebrating his freedom from the shackles of a Mark Sanchez-led offense.
All indications are that Plax and the New York Jets will be parting ways, despite his relatively productive eight-touchdown season. Plax made $3 million last year, which may be on the high side for a guy who isn't an every-down receiver anymore, but if the Jets were expecting 1,200 yards and 15 TDs from a guy who had spent the previous two seasons working in the prison laundry, then that's their problem.
Burress already has his sights set on his next employer -- he'd like it to be the Philadelphia Eagles. He pretty much threw himself at the Eagles during an interview with Philly's 97.5 The Fanatic on Wednesday. From NJ.com:
"Nothing else would make me happier," Burress said in a radio interview today with Philadelphia's 97.5 The Fanatic. "Obviously coming to Philadelphia, instituting myself into that offense, it just adds a unique dynamic to what is already in place."
It makes a fair amount of football sense. The Eagles have speed, separation and YAC guys at wide receiver. Burress brings none of that to the table, but he is a viable red zone and third-down threat. The Eagles do have a need there.
Also, I believe Burress and Michael Vick could become the first pair of ex-cons to ever combine for a touchdown pass and reception. This isn't something that's lost on Burress, either.
"For us to get together and be able to play together ... especially coming from where we've come from, obviously the things we've been through, I just think it would be a special deal," Burress said. "I really believe he can bring a championship to Philadelphia, and I would love to be a part of it."
I can't think of another combo in NFL history that's done real time. I'm not talking about "minor" things like a DUI or anything else that just gets someone a couple of hours at the police station. I'm talking about real, substantial prison sentences. I don't believe it's happened before.
I'm sure the NFL would love the opportunity to celebrate this unique bit of history. Maybe they'd stop the game, and have a quaint little ceremony where Roger Goodell, alongside Vick and Burress' respective former prison wardens, could present Vick and Burress with the game ball. And then we could all have rational, reasoned calm arguments about whether or not it's a terrible thing for the NFL, or an indication that the system works and convicts can indeed become productive members of society again.
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