Why the Eagles should sign Plaxico
Plaxico Burress gets released from prison two weeks from today. Before shooting himself in the leg, he was one of the league’s most dynamic players. He was impossible to single cover with his range and ball skills. Certainly, he won’t be the same player or even person he was before he went to jail. Regardless, his size is undeniable and if he truly wants to redeem himself many teams should want to sign him, especially the Philadelphia Eagles.
Philadelphia would be a great fit for Plaxico Burress. Philadelphia is close to his home in New Jersey, which could make the Eagles more appealing than other teams. The fans would likely embrace him after he was a fierce rival for years. Philly has passionate fans, but they know winning is most important and how productive he can be. Next, he wouldn’t have to come in right away and he the #1 guy who everyone is depending on. If he signed with the Eagles he would be given the chance to get his legs back under him and wouldn’t be rushed into the spotlight. But, if he reaches his potential, he might give the Eagles an option if they decide not to give DeSean Jackson an extension. Last but not least, the Mike Vick experience was a success. Owner Jeffrey Lurie should be more willing to take another risk.
Wait…do the Eagles need Plaxico? Yes. They need a player of his size and ability, most notably in the redzone. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are two of the brightest young receivers in the game, but they are both on the smaller side with speed. Avant is a reliable slot receiver with great hands and Cooper has a chance to develop into that big threat. I’ve said a number of times that I believe Andy Reid will coach the Eagles for two more years and it is Super Bowl or bust. Plaxico could fit in right away as part of their redzone package and has the chance to develop into more. Unlike running backs, wide receiver can play into their thirties without falling off dramatically.
If Plaxico returns to form it will be almost impossible to cover the Eagles. With Vick at quarterback to go along with the lightning fast Jackson & Maclin, you would have Burress out wide and difficult to single cover.
It is much more realistic to keep expectations lower than that, since he is going to be 34 and two years removed from football. Expectations should be more aligned with Vick’s first season with the Eagles. Back in 2009, they had special packages were Vick was worked into the game for 5-10 snaps a game. This type of situation for Burress would be easy to accommodate and potentially more productive, whether it was a redzone package or not.
A deal between the Philadelphia Eagles and Plaxico Burress would be mutually beneficial. It would give a former all-pro player the chance to join a quality organization who can help him back in the league and make one of the most explosive offenses more dangerous.