With a difficult salary situation and a hole at wide receiver opposite Santonio Holmes in their starting lineup, the New York Jets have reportedly reached a contract agreement with former Giant, Plaxico Burress.
The Jets lost backup receiver Brad Smith to division rival Buffalo and were apparently not willing to meet Braylon Edwards’ contract demands to secure his return to New York. That led to the signing of Burress, who will likely assume Edwards’ role as a red zone target and deep threat.
Burress returns to the league after a two-year absence stemming from a jail term related to shooting himself in the leg in a New York nightclub.
Although a significant market for his services seemed slim, there turned out to be remarkable interest, and the Jets were in the market for a veteran receiver. He was also recently linked to the Giants, Steelers, Eagles, Rams, and 49ers.
Given his age and time away from football, Burress faces significant challenges in returning as the player he was when he left the league. He will get that opportunity with the Jets, but in New York’s heavily run-based offense, his upside would appear be limited. In fact, it’s basically what Edwards accomplished in 2010—53 receptions for 904 yards and seven touchdowns. And the odds of Burress getting there seem remote.
He is 34, he hasn’t played in two years, and he has never had the reputation as a truly dedicated player. Not to mention that the Jets still have Jerricho Cotchery as their top backup receiver, a player who has 64 starts over the past five seasons.
For Burress to move up to WR3 status, he will need to find the end zone plenty because he’s just not going to get close to 1,000 yards. He will likely become the team’s top red zone target, so he could reach seven or eight touchdowns, but banking on touchdowns is never a smart thing.
If you’re willing to gamble on those touchdowns and the inconsistency that comes with them, you could roll Burress as a WR3. But there are better options out there that possess far more upside.