The League

Gene Wang
Fantasy Guru

Gene Wang

A sports staff writer at The Washington Post

Burress Worth Chasing


The New York Giants decided wide receiver Plaxico Burress was not worth their trouble anymore. They decided his pending legal issues were too much of a distraction. They wanted to deliver the message that knucklehead behavior won't be tolerated, so they released him.

The Giants' loss could be a boon for another team that is close to contending for the Super Bowl. Perhaps Tennessee, Baltimore or Jacksonville. Those teams have capable quarterbacks who are in dire need of a big-time target. Imagine, for instance, Joe Flacco winging it deep to Burress or Kerry Collins finally getting a difference-maker on the outside.

Plus, there really is no downside in going after Burress. You could give him an incentive-laiden series of one-year contracts like Terrell Owens had in Dallas and not have to absorb a huge salary cap hit if you decide Burress is not the right fit.

Bottom line is the guy still can play. The Giants found out how much they really needed him this past season. Look what happened to their passing game without him. Yet GM Jerry Reese still felt cutting Burress was in the best interest of the team, even after saying at the league meetings Burress would be back barring jail time for gun charges.

That's the thanks Burress gets for catching the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl against the previously-unbeaten New England Patriots, who looked like they were on their way to becoming the best team in NFL history. His reception changed the fortunes of significant members of the franchise, but the Giants front office deemed Burress disposable nonetheless.

First, Coach Tom Coughlin owes a large debt of gratitude to Burress. If Burress doesn't make that catch, who knows if Coughlin still would be employed in New York after previous postseason flameouts and calls for his job.

Then there's Eli Manning, who went from vilified to beloved thanks to Burress. Maybe no one needs Burress more than Manning. We saw how he struggled without Burress this past season. This fact seemed to be lost on many in the organization, save for running back Brandon Jacobs, who said the Giants could have gone 15-1 and won the Super Bowl last season with Burress.

Burress certainly was a distraction after accidentally shooting himself in the leg in a nightclub, and the Giants should have disciplined him accordingly. Releasing him, however, is taking matters too far, especially considering how weak the Giants are at wide receiver now. Raise your hand if you think Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Dominique Hixon are going to be catching touchdowns in the Super Bowl anytime soon.

By Gene Wang  |  April 6, 2009; 2:55 PM ET  | Category:  Gene Wang , Philadelphia Eagles , Plaxico Burress Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Come on Synder. Do something right for once. He will have the fire for at least two games a season, hehe. If we were to sign Plax then Deep in the playoffs we will be in....

Posted by: bienbo | April 6, 2009 4:26 PM

hey Gene, since when does a superbowl touchdown catch rate a no cut/get out of jail free card???
I hope he gets all 5 years...
oh, btw, that laughter you hear is coming
from Pittsburg, they surely didnt need his
'talent' to win the superbowl, did they?

Posted by: tindal0s | April 6, 2009 5:34 PM

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