With Mike Wallace still down in New Orleans and none of the young wide receivers making a charge for a roster spot so far in training camp, the rumblings have started suggesting the Pittsburgh Steelers should sign Plaxico Burress before someone else does.
Whispers late Saturday night were linking the Oakland Raiders as a possible suitor for Burress, but nothing is imminent at the time of this posting. It really doesn\’t matter though, because the possibility of Burress wearing the black and gold again are pretty slim.
First off, Burress likely wants way too much money. It was evident last year after his release from prison, and even though training camps are now in full swing right and the Steelers former number one draft pick still doesn\’t have a home, I just can\’t see him signing a one year deal for the veteran minimum. Burress is better off training at home while he waits for an injury to happen around the league. That way he stands to get more money and a better guarantee of involvement in the offense wherever he should land.
Although many will disagree, the Steelers have not given up on getting Wallace in camp before the start of the regular season. While none of the young wide receivers have raced ahead in the race for a roster spot, four preseason games present plenty of opportunity for that to happen.
Signing Burress brings aboard a player that offers nothing in the way of special team contributions and a risk that his past previous back problems will resurface. Keep in mind that Burress will turn 35 next week and has noticeably lost more than one step over the years. Sure, he hasn\’t lost any of his size, but signing him merely to be red zone jump ball target is not a good business decision.
Burress had a chance to return to Pittsburgh last season and chose to chase the money instead. He knew how the Steelers worked even prior to coming in for a visit, and if he indeed used the Steelers as leverage to get a bigger deal with the New York Jets, that will not be easily forgiven by Kevin Colbert and company.
Burress claimed back in March that he was open to returning to Pittsburgh and also claimed that Ben Roethlisberger was his favorite quarterback. When you are unemployed and looking for work, words like that are to be expected. Burress did help out head coach Mike Tomlin this summer at his football camp in Virginia, but nothing really should be read into that either.
The only realistic way Burress is wearing a Steelers uniform come the first Sunday night game in Denver is if Wallace remains away and an injury occurs to either Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders or Jerricho Cotchery prior to then. Basically it would done out of desperation and the Steelers are nowhere close to desperation right now.