Plaxico Burress signs with Jets: Arrested development?
The Jets added a shot of star-power and a big-body target for quarterback Mark Sanchez with Sunday’s signing of wide receiver Plaxico Burress.
The wide receiver was released from prison in early June and though the 33-year–old has not played football in more than two seasons, Burress remained one of the most coveted offensive targets in free agency.
Burress made his decision to sign with the Jets while at Los Angeles International Airport yesterday, saying that it “wasn’t a tough decision to make.”
“Just gonna go with my heart and put myself in the best situation to compete and win a world championship,” Burress said. “I feel like they have something special over here and I want to be a part of it.”
On Nov. 28, 2008, he accidentally shot himself in the thigh with a handgun. After being hospitalized, Burress was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and has not played a football game since.
He was sentenced in Sept. 2009 and was released from prison this past June.
His signing provides Burress with a chance at redemption.
“It’s over now,” Burress said. “I’m in the right place.”
The Jets made re-signing the talented Santonio Holmes a priority this offseason, inking their game-breaker to a five-year deal last Thursday.
“It’s going to be special,” Burress said of playing with Holmes. “We both know we can go out there and dominate games.”
Also on Sunday, wide receiver Braylon Edwards — who spent the better part of the past two seasons with the Jets — signed a free agent deal with Arizona. The enigmatic Edwards, himself plagued by trouble with the law, was supposed to be the big wide receiver target for Sanchez, but the former Browns first-round pick never fully blossomed into that role with the Jets. The hope is that Burress can become a player capable of getting first downs, be a big presence in the red zone and help the rest of the offense mature.
“I think our running game is going to blossom because of that,” Burress said. “I believe Mark Sanchez has the chance to grow and blossom into an elite quarterback.”
The chemistry with Holmes will be key in igniting the Jets offense. Like Burress, Holmes is a former Steelers wide receiver who was last season traded out of Pittsburgh following a series of legal mishaps and character issues.
“I’ve never played on a guy on the other side of me who is that explosive,” Burress said. “We’re going to drive defensive coordinators crazy.”