The final installment of free agent spotlights for the Pittsburgh Steelers takes us to the wide receivers. The Steelers will have three unrestricted free agent wide receivers on March 11th, one of them being Plaxico Burress.
Plaxico Burress was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the 8th pick in the 2000 NFL Draft. He played five seasons with the Steelers before signing with the New York Giants in 2005. Burress spent four seasons with the Giants, most notably catching the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. Following his big Super Bowl win he got into his notorious legal trouble involving gun charges stemming from an incident in a New York nightclub where he accidentally shot himself in the thigh. He returned to the NFL in 2011, this time with the New York Jets, spending one season with Gang Green before ultimately returning to Pittsburgh in 2012. In August of 2013 Plaxico suffered a torn rotator cuff in practice and was placed on injured reserve for the 2013 season.
Burress has totaled 8,499 receiving yards with a 15.4 average and 64 touchdowns. He was known as a large target with his 6’5” frame and was a favorite receiver of Roethlisberger in his early career. Ultimately, the Steelers went in the direction of making Hines Ward their #1 receiver playing-wise and contract-wise so that’s the main reason Burress and the Steelers parted ways initially.
In order for the Steelers to consider re-signing Burress to another contract they must first determine how much Burress has left in the tank. He’ll be 37 by the time the regular season kicks off and while he did have a two-season break from the grind of the NFL; it’s still a significant age for a wide receiver you know won’t be a contributor to Special Teams at all. As much as Steeler Nation has warmed back up to Burress it’s important to remember that he wasn’t a lock to make the final 53-man roster last season before his injury. I don’t know how the Steelers play this; there are many more pressing issues to address this offseason than giving Burress another shot at the tail-end of his career. As much as we’d all like to see a happy ending here with Burress, it might not work out in the Steelers favor to extend another contract to him.
What are your thoughts, Steeler Nation? Do you think the Steelers keep Plaxico for another year?