In Saturday’s newspaper (and Friday night’s online edition!) I wrote that it appears the first obstacle in the return of Plaxico Burress has been hurdled. The free agent receiver met with Tom Coughlin for about an hour and spent some time with Jerry Reese and John Mara as well, and on his way out of the building for the night Reese said that the talks were “positive conversation all the way around.”
Earlier in the day, Coughlin had said that if the talks were positive, “then we can talk about the next stage.”
So what’s the next stage? How about seeing if a soon-to-be 34-year-old who hasn’t taken a snap in nearly three years can help the team. But Reese said he has no desire to trot Burress out onto a field and see what he’s got left under the hood.
“When you’ve been out for a couple of years you don’t expect to work a guy out and see what you really think he can be because you’ll get a bad concept of what you want to look for,” Reese said. “More than likely he’s not going to look like he’s in midseason form when he’s been away from the game for a couple of years. We didn’t think it made sense for us to put him out there and work him out.”
Coughlin seemed more concerned about what Burress can offer than Reese.
“I know he was thin coming out of incarceration, but what he did do as far as conditioning goes in there?” Coughlin said. “I will say this and we all know this, he’s a very rare athlete.”
Reese agreed with that. “He is a genetically gifted athlete,” he said. That appears to be enough for Reese.
The next stage will also include actually negotiating with Burress. While there are reports the Giants have a two-year, $10.5 million incentive-laden deal waiting for him, Burress still has meetings with the Steelers while the Rams and Eagles are also in the picture. And don’t forget the Jets, the team Burress has had his eye on for some time.
Even if Burress has convinced the Giants that he’s changed and matured, remember, the Giants still have to convince Burress to come here if they want him. Coughlin made it clear that there would be no give-and-take on that.
“What is there to change?” Coughlin said when asked about meeting Burress in the middle, something Justin Tuck has suggested. “When you sign on to go to work for somebody, the basic thing is you got to go to work. You’ve got to be there. You get there on time. What’s there to change? When you come right down to it, that’s the basic ingredient or rule. Jump into the team as hard as you can, as fast as you can. Be a part of the team, but understand your responsibility. People depend on you.”