It sounds like something New York would do, to look past a man’s prison record and notice his outstanding talent instead. (Just Kidding NYers!) The New York Jets have been interested in Plaxico Burress for quite some time–even before he began his prison stint, which lasted almost two years. Plaxico Burress was released by the New York Giants in April of 2009, and then sentenced in the summer of the same year. Now, as of summer 2011, Plaxico Burress has paid his debt to society, and the New York Jets are first in line to sing “Amazing Grace”, as they have now acquired one helluva wide receiver.
The Jets expressed interest in signing Burress, even when he was at his lowest ebb, in spring 2009, and this is something that the reformed Burress remembers fondly. “[They] were really the first to support me with everything I was going through at the time.” The Jets were not the only NFL team looking up this Super Bowl champion player. The Giants, Steelers (both of whom he played for), as well as Eagles, 49ers and Rams all expressed interest in the Virginian power-catcher.
Lesson learned, when you really want to sign someone to your roster, beat your competitors to the punch–and especially when that guy’s down and out. Head coach Rex Ryan and owner Woody Johnson never stopped believing in Burress’ talent, and it’s obvious from watching his performance at Super Bowl XLII (especially that game-winning pass that made the score 17-14) that he’s no fluke winner.
Burress just signed a three million dollar guaranteed contract with the team, so he is rested, pumped and all hyped up for the new season. He told the press that he has kept himself in shape while in prison, working out four times a week. Of course, the big question is whether Plaxico Burress can still play, since he hasn’t actually played a high-stakes competitive game since 2008. Face it, prison football just isn’t as challenging as the real thing!
Nevertheless, Burress is itching for some field time, and football experts know better than to discount his abilities. Now that the NFL lockout is history and we are definitely seeing a season this year, keep your eyes on the Jets!