The second chance: Jets signs Plaxico
MARCUS HENRY Special to the AmNews | 8/3/2011, 3:05 p.m.
It looks like the Jets have a new Jolly Green Giant in Plaxico Burress to lean on this season. No one should be surprised at the signing, because the Jets have become the franchise of second chances during the Woody Johnson era.
From Braylon Edwards to Santonio Holmes, if you have talent, the Jets will come calling. But will there be a payoff this time? Holmes proved to be worth the chance, while Edwards was productive last season despite a DWI arrest. Burress represents an entirely different kind of reclamation project.
Unlike Holmes and Edwards, Burress comes to the Jets with fewer legal and league issues. Holmes had to sit out the first four games last season, while Edwards was dealing with an assault charge from his days with the Cleveland Browns.
Edwards further complicated matters with his DWI arrest, which he recently plead guilty to. Meanwhile, Burress, who served nearly two years behind bars, has paid his debt and has no threat of league suspension hanging over his head. He'll be on parole for two years, but it's doubtful he'll stray from the straight and narrow this time.
Burress, who signed a one-year, $3 million deal, couldn't have been more pleased with his decision and said he turned down better offers to join the Jets. "This is a beautiful situation. You look at what these guys have here," Burress said. "They're building a great football team, [and they have] a great coach-somebody who you'd love to play for in Rex Ryan."
As for the organization, it certainly helped the Jets that their home base is located in New Jersey, not far from where Burress makes his home. "They've been supportive of me," Burress added. "Just having the opportunity to come here and play and be where I am at this stage in my life, just to live up the street from here...It was just a beautiful situation." But can he still play? If you let Burress tell it, the skills are still there.
"I've been in South Florida, throwing and running around with some of the...starting quarterbacks in this business right here, and doing one-on-one drills against different defensive backs that play in this league who are starters," he said. "Just running my routes and catching the ball, it feels like I've never left." If that's the case, it could be time to order Super Bowl tickets.