Coming off a modest comeback season with the Green-and-White, Plaxico Burress' return to the New York Jets is in serious doubt. The mercurial wideout has started seeking work elsewhere, citing Philadelphia and Miami as his preferred destinations.
The 34-year-old Michigan State product took a leave of absence from the league following a two year stint at the Oneida Correctional Facility in Upstate New York over possession of an unregistered firearm. While at a nightclub, Burress accidentally discharged the firearm, shooting himself in the leg and resulting in his suspension from the New York Giants. Upon his release, Burress signed with New York's AFC team and prepared for a comeback to the NFL.
Prior to his 2009 sentencing, Burress was one of the Giants brightest stars. In just his first season with Big Blue, Burress recorded over 1,200 yards on 76 catches. The following year Burress saw a decrease in his receiving yards but scored a career-high ten touchdowns, including a two TD game in the NFC Wild Card playoffs against the Philadelphia Eagles. Perhaps the highlight of his career was during the 2007 Super Bowl when the Giants upset the heavily favored New England Patriots who had an 18-0 record coming into the big game. Burress caught what would be the game-winning touchdown, cementing himself in Super Bowl lore for years to come.
But just how good was Burress for Rex Ryan and the Jets football team? In signing with Gang Green, Jets fans hoped that Burress would provide that extra red-zone target that would put the Jets offense over-the-top. Even Burress had high hopes; wanting to pick up right where he left off by dominating defenses with his speed and size. However, as the 2011 season went along, Burress showed how much his absence hurt him. His eight touchdown receptions, which include three in one-game (tying a career-high) proved that he could still be a formidable target in the end zone. However, he lost the ability to break from the line and get separation from the defensive backs that marked him and as a result, recorded a modest 612 yards.
While Burress wasn't the boom Jets fans expected, he wasn't a bust either. His size proves that he can still vault over defenders in the end zone and bring in scores, but shouldn't be counted on for much else. Because of his fair comeback season, Burress is being overlooked by many teams, including the Miami Dolphins, who are need of major changes if the franchise wants to avoid a top five pick in next year's draft.