Imagine Plaxico on the NFL’s version of the Dating Game.
“Coach Number One: Imagine I decide I want to come late to a meeting and skip a physical therapy appointment. What would you do to me?”
It’s silly, but that might be exactly what happens this weekend when the free agent wide receiver has two dinner-dates with head coaches from teams he knows very well. Tom Coughlin of the Giants and Mike Tomlin of the Steelers. While Burress never played for Tomlin in Pittsburgh, he began his career there. It seemed at one point he ended his career in New York. Now it appears that he could be headed back to one of his former teams.
ESPN is reporting – and “reporting” may be an understatement considering the details involved in this story – that Burress will dine with Coughlin on Friday night before heading to Pittsburgh for a meal with Tomlin. After that, he may make a decision about which team he signs with, although the Rams and Eagles are still not entirely out of the picture. The Jets, a team Burress has been interested in for a while according to people who know him, could also make a push.
And anyone who doubted the Giants’ sincerity in re-signing Burress (I’ll raise my hand at this point!) will be interested to learn from the ESPN report that the team is prepared to offer Burress a two-year, $10.5 million contract if Coughlin green-lights the move following his face-to-face with the recalcitrant receiver. The Giants also had billionaire Seth Bernstein, CEO of Empower Software Solutions and is a friend of Giants co-owner Steve Tisch, fly Burress to New York yesterday on his private jet for a scheduled meeting with the Giants that ultimately was ruled to be against the rules by the NFL.
So no, it doesn’t sound like the Giants are just going through the motions here with Burress.
Which brings us back to the Dating Game. Even if Burress can convince Coughlin that he is a changed man and has matured, Coughlin must also grit his teeth and woo Burress. The oldest, squarest coach in the NFL will be competing against the hippest, coolest coach in the league. Anyone seriously wondering which will be able to – to pull out another romance game show title – make a “Love Connection” with Burress more easily?