Jun 6, 2011
We continue to hope lockout talks move in a positive direction after a day in court last Friday, but today we focus on more football, headlined by a prison release in New York and some clarity in the Jets’ backfield.
Burress to play left field, hit 7th … Former Giant WR Plaxico Burress was released from prison after nearly two years Monday morning, and since there’s nothing else to talk about, HE WAS WEARING A PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES HAT, WHICH MEANS HE’S GOING TO THE EAGLES. There has actually been speculation that the Eagles are a potential landing spot for Burress, and Michael Vick has voiced his support of that move recently, saying:
“I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did, and he’ll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can. I think the guys would be willing to embrace him and bring him in. If that happens? Who knows? We talking about ‘what ifs’ now? It would certainly be a good thing.”
Our guy Adam Caplan wrote that he believes the Eagles will be interested in Burress, saying Andy Reid has always been intrigued by him. The Eagles have a strong receiving corps led by DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, but Burress would bring something different to the table as a big target at 6’5” 232 pounds, although he will turn 34 in August and hasn’t played since the 2008 season.
As for other destinations, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News also listed the Rams, Jets, Steelers and Dolphins as possible landing spots. All of the reporting out there consists of a lot of speculation though, and the Eagles provide an easy narrative because they’ve already gone through one prison reclamation project with Vick. At 34, Burress is going to have to prove he can still play, and if he can alleviate concerns, there is no shortage of teams in need of WRs, especially right now with so much uncertainty still in play.
Jets talk up Greene … Veteran RB LaDainian Tomlinson upstaged second-year man Shonn Greene for much of the 2010 season, but the Jets believe Greene is ready for an expanded role in 2011. OC Brian Schottenheimer expects Greene to be the team’s lead back, likely getting the ball 18-20 times a game, with Tomlinson acting in more of a complementary/3rd down role.
Schottenheimer told the Daily News: “Shonn’s ready to take that next step. He’s just gotten better year in and year out. His durability this year was outstanding. You just see the confidence in his eyes. His ability to pick up pass protection stuff has been terrific the last couple years. We expect a breakout season from him. He’s a guy that’s got just huge, huge, huge potential that we think is right there ready for him to grab.”
The Jets also have second-year back Joe McKnight and rookie Bilal Powell at RB, but it looks like Greene, who hasn’t had 200 carries in a season yet, will be the Jets’ go-to back. Last season, he rushed for 766 yards on 185 carries (4.1 average) with just 2 TDs and an average of 6.7 FPG, placing him 43rd among RBs. We currently have Greene projected as the 30th best RB for the 2011 season.
- Viking HC Leslie Frazier hasn’t ruled out signing a veteran QB, especially because of the ongoing lockout. The team drafted Christian Ponder in the 1st round, and while he’s considered one of the most NFL-ready rookie QBs, the lack of minicamps is giving all rookies a late start. However, Frazier made it clear that any veteran would have to understand he’s simply holding the job until Ponder is ready.
Wait… veteran QB? Minnesota?
- After breaking his ankle and going through a tumultuous off-season, Cowboy WR Dez Bryant says he’s healthy and believes his off-the-field issues are a thing of the past.
- In lockout news, 8th Circuit Court listened to arguments on Friday and urged the two sides to continue settlement talks and get a deal done. A decision on the NFL’s appeal will come in the next month or so, but in the meantime, we’ll continue hoping for a settlement after the unexpected talks in Chicago last week.