The Jets last saw wide receiver Plaxico Burress at the end of last season when the locker room was divided, quarterback Mark Sanchez and receiver Santonio Holmes weren’t speaking and many assumed Burress was on the same page with Holmes. But coach Rex Ryan said on Wednesday that the Jets didn’t go after Burress as the replacement for an injured Holmes strictly for physical reasons.
Explaining the decision to sign free agent Jason Hill, Ryan said, “I have a great deal of respect for Plaxico and he had eight touchdown catches last year. There’s some things he did really well for us. We’re trying to look for guys who are maybe a little younger and with a little more speed.
“[Jason] Hill, the guy we just signed, has those attributes. That’s what jumped out at us. We want to get faster as a football team. He’s a guy that has some tools and has played in this league.”
When asked directly if Burress had other issues that caused the Jets to shy away, Ryan said, “No, again, I have a great relationship with Plaxico. He’s a tremendous person. In our situation, we’re looking to go a different way. When somebody brings in Plaxico, they’re going to get an excellent football player and a guy I have a lot of respect for.”
Burress (pictured with Holmes) is 35 years old, and Hill, who was drafted in 2007 and has played for San Francisco, Jacksonville and Denver, is 27.