Bringing back troubled wide receiver Plaxico Burress is not an option, despite the Jets’ relative lack of depth at the position. On Wednesday, the Jets announced that wide receiver Santonio Holmes is likely out for the season with a foot injury and on paper it would seem that Burress could be a good fit.
Burress signed a one-year deal with the Jets last summer after he served 22 months in prison on illegal firearm charges stemming from an incident when he was with the New York Giants. It was a short-lived relationship for the Jets despite Burress having some success on the field.
Despite being a free agent, Burress has yet to sign with the team, in all likelihood due to his reputation as a locker room cancer. The Jets are staying clear at the moment and trying to be diplomatic about it.
“Plaxico, I have a great deal of respect for and obviously, he had eight touchdown catches last year. There are some things he did really well for us,” head coach Rex Ryan said. “We’re trying to look for guys maybe a little younger and a little more speed.”
And maybe a little less controversial.
Given that he would provide an instant downfield target for quarterback Mark Sanchez, the personality issues surrounding their former wide receiver are giving the Jets plenty of pause. Burress was linked, whether right or wrong, to much of the toxicity in the locker room last year.
“I had a great relationship with Plaxico and I think he’s a tremendous person. I just think in our situation, we were looking to go a different way,” Ryan said. “When somebody brings in Plaxico, they’re going to get an excellent football player and a guy that, like I said, I have a lot of respect for.”
On Wednesday, the Jets announced the signing of Jason Hill, who spent the previous five years in San Francisco and was most recently with Jacksonville. In 50 career games, Hill has 76 receptions for 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns.
Follow Jets beat writer Kristian Dyer on Twitter @KristianRDyer.