Plaxico Burress was released from prison on Monday and speculation is rife about where he may end up. Many teamsâ names are being thrown around and itâs not surprise that the Patriots are one of those teams.Â It has been widely talked about since the Patsâ 28-21 Playoff loss to the Jets that the team lacks a downfield threat to spread the field since Mossâ departure, and this need is still evident after the 2011 NFL Draft.
The 33 year old Wide Receiver stands at 6â5â and 232 pounds, has 8 yearsâ worth of experience under his belt and in that time has caught 505 passesâŠone of which was the game winning touchdown pass in the âSuperbowl-That-Must-Not-Be-NamedââŠamounting to nearly 8, 000 receiving yards. His intangibles are there, and his reputation speaks for itself as a player, but is he a reformed character?
This is one of the main things which people will talk about when linking the Receiver to the Pats. If Burress joined the team, I would have no doubt that Belichick, Kraft and Brady would be able to keep him under control, but do we need that reputation in a very young an influential locker room? We certainly donât need the veteran experience; Wes Welker and Deion Branch provide enough of that at the WR position.
The Patriots have two young Receivers in Brandon Tate and Taylor Price. Price went through a red shirt year during his Rookie season, participating in one regular season game against Miami in which he showed a lot of promise. The local media reported that the team were very happy with his progress, but he was sitting behind a very talented Wide Receiver Corps. Some would argue we are grooming him to be our deep threat for the future. I think that Belichick could utilise these two as our deep threats, taking off the pressure with the other weapons we have.
The offense has a lot of weapons, which include Welker and Gronkowski, whilst having a wide range of Running Backs. Therefore do they need a prominent deep threat? The Patriots demonstrated much more balance than they had in previous years like 2007, in which Tom Brady threw for a record 50 TDs, 23 of which to Randy Moss. Benjarvis Green-Ellis had a 1,000 yard rushing season in 2010, the Patsâ first 1,000 yard rusher since Corey Dillon in 2004, and Danny Woodhead had a solid years rushing also. With the addition of two new Running Backs in the draft, they are certainly loaded at the position and look to build on what they achieved last season with the running game.
Another issue is money. The Patriots certainly wonât pay you what you want; unless they think youâre worth it. Ask Logan Mankins. Will the Patriots be prepared to stump up the cash that Burress would be after? There would have to be a lot of guaranteed money in this sort of deal, and I just canât see the Patriots agreeing to it. Would Burress take a massive cut to be at the Patriots? Of course not. The Jets will pay the kind of money he wants and have had limited success in the post season as of late. This could definitely appeal to the Receiver.
Personally, since the loss to the Jets, I think this whole downfield threat thing has been blown out of proportion. The Pats finished 14-2 last season. They survived the whole regular season with pretty much no deep threat; even when Moss was here for the first 4 weeks, he had little impact on the team. We can rely on Tate and Price to step up and fill the role when needed, but it is clear the Patriots are trying to become less pass heavy and more balanced on offense. We had one bad game, in which we still only lost by one touchdown. Because of one performance in which we had limited success in the passing game, all of a sudden, this team needs a tall, speedy deep threat.
I think weâll survive with what we have. If Bill Belichick truly believes we need a new Receiver, then I believe he will tackle the issue elsewhere. If we bring in anyone, it’ll be Chad Ochocinco.Â He and Bill Belichick have an outspoken respect for each other and I think he would flourish in Tom Brady’s offense. I would rather see him as a Patriot then Burress.
Other than that, I wish Plaxico all the best. I have no ill feeling towards him. Heâs a talented player with a gift. I hope for his sakes that he does what Michael Vick has so far been successful in doing, reforming his life and getting his NFL career back on track. Good luck to him, but we donât need him!
End the lockout!