Should the Pittsburgh Steelers Be Interested in Plaxico Burress?
Dec 30, 2012; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress (80) catches a touchdown pass in front of Cleveland Browns defensive back Joe Haden (23) during the second half of the game at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
Are the Steelers considering signing Plaxico Burress to another contract? Well, I don’t know, but I hope they are considering all the options. Can Plaxico Burress contribute to the Steelers? I think that if the Steelers develop a plan for him and consider his age and skill set, he can. If he stays in shape, he can still have the range and agility to make plays. In his 2011 season with the Jets, he played all 16 games, started 13 of them, caught 45 passes for 612 yards and had 8 touchdowns. I was surprised when the Jets let him go because I really hadn’t noticed any negative press around him. However, it may have been a case of salary.
Like several other aging Steeler players, there is a certain age where your potential return on investment looks shaky. Burress may be getting into that category. Realistically at 35 years old, Plaxico is not going to be the workhorse. The Steelers still need to find that piece of the puzzle. However, if Burress does this right, he can bring intangibles: experience, maturity, (hey don’t do something stupid like I did…), and an example of how to be dedicated to your craft. The way Burress has stayed in shape should show that. However, he and his agent are probably going to have to accept that the $900,000-ish he got for signing for just a few months with the Steelers in 2012 is unlikely to be offered.
Yes, Burress was a distraction the first time he was with the Steelers. But, I think he has learned how to NOT be a distraction, which other wide receivers like Terrell Owens, Chad (formerly Ocho Cinco) Johnson, and Randy Moss never learned. I look at his career numbers of 553 receptions, 8,499 total yards with only 8 fumbles and 4 lost and 78 touchdowns and I see a player who still has potential. Yeah, the criminal incident won’t sit well with many Steelers fans, but he served his time. I’ve listened to some of his interviews and kept waiting for him to say how unfair it all was. I may have missed it, but he didn’t say that. He looked forward. I hope he thanks the powers that be that he only hurt himself that night with the gun, because he might still be in jail and never returned to footballl. But, if I were to judge all the football players on the stupid/criminal things they have done ( Steelers among them), then this would be a long, long, long article. I am OK with a second chance. I say the Steelers should consider him along with everyone else they consider. If he takes on a diva attitude like some wide receivers do, then take him out of consideration. However, I just think the Steelers have a long road ahead to put together a team. Omar Khan is going to be having some all-nighters surviving on Red Bull or coffee. Plaxico Burress should not be an automatic no if he can fit into the salary structure.