Plaxico Burress didn't need Rex Ryan to phone him up and present a lengthy dissertation explaining what it would be like to play for the other football team in town. A rah-rah speech wasn't necessary, either. Burress already was sold.
"There was no sales pitch needed," Burress said Sunday. "You just look at all the pieces that are in place. You get a chance to compete for a world championship every year, play for a great organization, play with a great quarterback. I get to play beside Santonio Holmes and a future Hall of Famer in LT .
"You just look at everything they have in place, and I just want to come here and be a part of something that I believe is special and just go out and win football games."
So that's why the free-agent wide receiver chose the Jets in a stunning move early Sunday, agreeing to a one-year deal worth a reported $3.017 million guaranteed.
In getting a chance to resurrect his career after serving 20 months in prison upstate for a weapons violation, Burress picked the Jets over one of his former employers, the Giants, whom he visited Friday. He said the Steelers, Eagles, 49ers and Rams also were interested.
Burress was at Los Angeles International Airport early Sunday morning, apparently on his way to a meeting with the 49ers, when the Jets stepped up with their offer. Burress, who turns 34 on Aug. 12, hadn't even met with any of the Jets' brass, but he was sold -- in part because the team had reached out to him in 2009 as he was awaiting his fate of heading to prison.
He was sure he already knew what he was getting himself into. He trusted his instincts.
"Just going with my heart, just putting myself in the best situation for me and being able to compete to win a world championship and to become a part of a great organization, great coach," said Burress, whose arrival means the end of Braylon Edwards' days as a Jet. "They have a great team on deck and it was something I wanted to be a part of. I feel that they have something special over here and I just wanted to be a part of it and I wanted to do some great things."
Of course, the chance to stay in a somewhat familiar environment -- even if it's with a different team in the same market -- certainly didn't hurt when the 6-5 wideout began mulling where he was headed.
"It was a lot of decisions to be made, a lot of hard choices," he said. "I just said to myself, I get to go to a great situation. I'm already established in the New Jersey area. I still own a home here and my wife is working, all those different things. All those things came in to factor. I get to compete to win a world championship. That's the most important thing. And I get to compete for a great owner and a great coach."
He also gets to form what could be a downright scary tandem with Holmes. The two former Steelers never got the chance to team up in Pittsburgh, as Burress left town in 2005, a year before Holmes was drafted. But in consecutive years, each caught a game-winning touchdown pass with exactly 35 seconds remaining in a Super Bowl. So Burress already is eager to get down to business with Holmes.
"It's going to be special, man," Burress said. "We are both excited because we both know that we can go out and dominate games and make big plays, different things like that. I don't think I've had an opportunity to play with a guy that explosive on the other side of me, and I think we are going to complement each other very well.
"I think our running game is really going to blossom because of that. And along the way, I really think Mark Sanchez has a chance to grow, to be an elite quarterback. I just think it's a great situation all the way around."