When Plaxico Burress walked out of the Oneida Correctional Facility at 9 a.m. Monday, released from a 20-month sentence on a gun charge, the question became not whether he’d ever play football again, but where.
Maybe the Phillies cap he wore on his way to his hotel was the big tip-off. The Eagles are rumored to be the front-runners for Burress’ services whenever free agency opens up. But it’s not a lock. For a guy who will be 34 years old, coming back after two years out of the league, the market may not be as intense as agent Drew Rosenhaus would have people believe.
“I wouldn’t rule out the Giants. I wouldn’t rule out any club,” Rosenhaus told the Daily News Monday morning.
He included the Giants in that, though he may be reaching into, say, the stratosphere, on that one. Coach Tom Coughlin grew an intense dislike for Burress because of his constant flouting of team rules. Shooting himself in the leg during the late drive of 2008 was simply the last straw for the old-style disciplinarian.
The Eagles are certainly more forgiving — former jailbird Michael Vick is their quarterback — but Burress will have to do quite a sell job on them to prove he’s football ready. Mopping linoleum floors and doing aerobics in prison hardly equals football training. Plus, the Eagles already have red-zone potential in players like Vick, tight end Brent Celek, and receivers Jeremy Maclin, Jason Avant and young Riley Cooper. They may not need him.
Other teams may be reluctant to take on a player with Burress’ problems. His entire field could be limited to just three or four teams, despite Rosenhaus’ estimable persuasive powers.
“He’s got a lot of [stuff] to overcome,” one NFC executive with no interest in Burress told Len Pasquarelli of The Sports Xchange. “That resume definitely has some holes.”
Might Buffalo take him at a bargain price? Might Cincinnati team a cheap Burress with Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens as a headcase triumvirate?
It's anybody's guess.