Plaxico Burress is Getting Out Early

This might fool you by looking like a brand-spankin' new story, but it's in fact my contribution to our new little ‘best of' series. This was originally posted a bit back on March 8th, and since Chris recently did a piece on the subject, I thought it would be interesting to revisit it and see if our opinions and thoughts have changed in any significant way (particularly since we're now post-draft). I think the comments should be re-opened; if not, pardon any technical delays and check back soon.

Consider this story a 'pre-emptive strike', as I'm surprised I haven't read several FanPosts about it already (truth be told, I waited about 12 hours just in case). As most of us are well aware of, Plaxico Burress, the former Giants WR who is best known for making the game winning Super Bowl catch against the Patriots/ his excellent sense of gun safety, is getting out of jail June 6th, just in time for some team to pick him up. And make no bones about it- someone is going to pick him up.

But the question is- should it be the Minnesota Vikings? Now, there's an argument to be had on both sides here, so I'll touch on my personal viewpoints regarding the good, the bad, and the ugly right after the jump.

Plaxico-burress_medium
This is exactly what I look like when I play backyard football.

The Good. To begin with, we could start by saying ‘his receiving skills'. Now, let's ignore the fact that he's been in jail for a year and a half, and examine the stats from his last two seasons with the Giants-

Year

Rec

Yds

Y/G

Avg

Lng

YAC

1stD

TD

Fum

2007

70

1025

64.1

14.6

60

4.1

49

12

0

2008

35

454

45.4

13

33

1.6

25

4

0


Now, you might be inclined to wonder at the seeming drop-off in production during 2008- but that season he only played 10 games (due to his aforementioned gun safety sense), and I might point you to those ‘Y/G, Avg, and Fum' stats, which really didn't suffer that much. Burress, for the duration of his career, has had four 1,000 yard seasons. He's been a good and reliable WR.

And while Burress has been known as a malcontent in the past, I would imagine he would be very happy with whatever team that gave him a chance post-incarceration, and would probably work rather hard to earn his spot. And contract-wise, and this is with that Rosenhaus guy in mind, he probably would be considered a ‘steal' ala Vick- we could give him an incentive-laced contract for one, two years, leaving us not hurting salary cap wise or stuck with an albatross should things not work out.

The Bad. One stat to start with- his age, 33 (34 in August). He's aging as a receiver. And while Michael Vick didn't seem to suffer athletically post prison life, Vick was also 28 at that time. Should the Vikings decide to in fact make the investment in this, they shouldn't expect long-term returns.

Now let's continue the Vick/ Burress comparisons- which aren't even fair, and we'll touch on that in a moment. While Vick is famous for flipping fans off after a loss to the Saints, and had his other occasional troublesome moments up to his arrest, he was never really known as a ‘locker room cancer'. Burress, on the other hand, was quite famous for being the burden, even going so far as to get himself suspended from two games (one with the Steelers, and one with the Giants) for missing team meetings. After the recent Randy Moss fiasco, another prima donna WR troublemaker may not be the best thing for the locker room- especially for Percy Harvin, who has already tweeted how happy he is to see Burress getting out of prison (and don't blame him for it, apparently the two are old acquaintances who grew up in the same area). How many of these guys do we really want to have around Harvin, without fearing that he's going to end up walking down the same road? And in general, is a war-weary locker room really going to put up with that again?

And finally- for those who, in fact, want to hold Vick's success as a reason to take a flyer on Burress, remember this- two different guys, two different scenarios. While Vick seems to have become the role model (mostly) post prison, and has certainly proven his worth on the field, it's simply lunacy to believe that guarantees the same thing will happen with Burress. For all we know, Burress will continue to skip team meetings, walk around like he's entitled, and will then proceed bring a gun to a game strapped to his jersey, ultimately shooting Adrian Peterson in the knee when it slips out. The risk-reward scenario in this is very, well... risky.

The Ugly. Sydney Rice and Drew Rosenhaus. First off- Rosenhaus is, again, Burress' agent. With the ongoing deal regarding the Vikings and Rice already, there's no telling how that could potentially go down behind the scenes. We also might not know in June whether or not Rice is a part of our team anymore- therefore putting the whole question of whether to take the flier or not in jeopardy. I wish I didn't have to bring that whole deal up in this- but it is potentially a part of it.

 

OK, so- we've reviewed why taking the shot at Plaxico Burress (no pun intended) could be good or bad for the Minnesota Vikings. What do you guys think? Sound off, Vikings fandom.

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