NFL Free Agency: Top Five Destinations For Plaxico Burress

With all these rumors soaring through the air that Plaxico Burress and the Philadelphia Eagles have mutual interest in each other, it’s darn-near impossible not to get excited about the prospects of him back in football, along with a new NFL season altogether.

However, the NFL lockout is still alive and well for the moment, and short of Brandon Jacobs telling us Burress has spoken with Eagles quarterback and 2010 Comeback Player of The Year Michael Vick, we really can’t put a stamp on him landing in Philly yet.

Obviously Philadelphia is considered the front-runner right now, given all of the information at hand, but we thought we’d put on our binoculars to take a closer look at the interest in the former elite Giants receiver and even throw in a couple teams that have been mentioned as possible destinations.

Here are five interesting matches for Burress’ services for the 2011 NFL season, along with fantasy analysis.

5. Washington Redskins

The Redskins only had one established veteran receiver on the roster last season—Santana Moss, who’s now a free agent.  True, Washington selected three receivers in the 2011 NFL Draft, could deliver Moss back to D.C. and hasn’t been tied to Plaxico, but you can’t rule it out when you’re talking about Daniel Snyder. 

Fantasy: In the fantasy realm, it’s hard to love Burress’ chances in this offense, specifically since there’s no real answer at quarterback.

 

4. Chicago Bears

The only big, physical receiver that can create plays and draw defense’s attention in the redzone in Chicago is tight end Greg Olsen.  That’s not going to cut it, especially in the ever-improving NFC North.  Jay Cutler assembled phenomenal numbers in Denver where he carried arounda magic wand and had Brandon Marshall at his disposal, so the Bears need to find an answer and check into Plaxico Burress to see if he can provide an impact after being out of the league for three years.

While there hasn’t been any speculation about a connection between Burress and Chi-Town, the Bears did chase after Marshall last year, so the interest in adding a big playmaker is probably clearly there and probably just under wraps.

Fantasy: If Burress locked into Chicago and had a solid role, he could post decent fantasy numbers in his first year back. Cutler knows how to get the ball to guys who can make plays, and a Mike Martz offense bodes well for a talented receiver.

3. New York Jets

Re-signing both Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards will be a very difficult (if not impossible) task for Rex Ryan and New York, so finding a cheap alternative could be the perfect route for the Jets. 

The Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and Randy Moss rumors are a bit louder than Burress going to the “other” Big Apple franchise, but if it comes down to money, Burress might have a chance.  There’s no word on if he’d be interested, but the need could be there. Burress probably wouldn’t mind joining a team built for a run at the Super Bowl either.

Fantasy: I still can’t put much faith in Mark Sanchez, so if this signing went down, you’d have to imagine Burress’ first year back would have the ceiling of any of Braylon Edwards’ seasons in New York so far.

2. St. Louis Rams

The Rams have really only been mentioned amidst reports that suggest Burress is interested in joining Andy Reid and the Eagles, while it’s nearly crystal-clear St. Louis is already jammed at receiver with a ton of mediocre talent.

Nevertheless, with that talent being replaceable and Sam Bradford’s development hanging in the balance, bringing on a huge target like Plaxico could be a terrific move for St. Louis.

Fantasy: Believe it or not, there’s actually a lot of fantasy potential here, as Bradford and Burress would be able to work some magic in a Josh McDaniels’ offense. Receivers and quarterbacks tend to put up gaudy numbers in those schemes, so the prospects are intriguing to say the least.  The Rams not being a legit contender, however, makes this match a little unlikely.

  

1. Philadelphia Eagles

It’s clearer than the Mediterranean—this is the top landing spot at the moment.  Maybe Plaxico Burress wouldn’t mind playing for a division foe of his former team, perhaps he witnessed the dramatic turn-around of Michael Vick when he went to Philadelphia and envisions this as the perfect situation and opportunity to resume his NFL career and quite possibly he thinks the Eagles are one big piece away from leaping into the Super Bowl.

The fact that Burress and Vick have actually spoken about the scenario and reports are swirling that mutual interest is there, this appears to be a deal waiting to unfold.

Fantasy: It all sounds interesting on paper, but what does the addition of Burress mean for the Eagles and Burress himself in fantasy terms?  With DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin already firmly implanted as Vick’s top two options, it’d be difficult to justify bringing on a 34-year-old, rusty receiver to take one of their spots.  With that being said, Burress would likely be looking at a third receiver role, although it’d be impossible for him not to be the team’s top red-zone target if he comes back with anything close to the same effectiveness and ability he had three years ago.

Conclusion

Burress is coming off a three-year break, is 34-years-old and the expectations are unknown.  But he is a huge target who could easily surprise the nation if we’re not looking out for him. Keep an eye on the situation.

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