One of the NFL rumors that surfaced Tuesday was that the Houston Texans are interested in Plaxico Burress. The wide receiver needs a job, and the Texans need another wideout.
Burress spent last year with the New York Jets after sitting out of the NFL all together for the 2009-10 seasons due to a two-year prison sentence he received in September 2009 after pleading guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
The former Super Bowl XLII hero and then-New York Giants teammate Antonio Pierce were at the LQ nightclub in Manhattan late November 2008 when the gun Burress was carrying in his waistband accidentally went off and shot him in the thigh. Pierce drove Burress to the hospital where the incident was not reported to police and two days later Burress turned himself in on charges of criminal possession of a handgun. The handgun was not licensed in New Jersey (where he lived) or New York and his license to carry a concealed weapon in the state of Florida had expired in May of that year. The Giants released Burress in April 2009.
One month following his release from prison in June 2011, Burress said during an interview on the NFL Network:
“When you say Houston, all I can say is ‘Wow,’ ” Burress said. “That’s all I can say, because I give respect where respect is due. And I believe Andre Johnson is the best wide receiver in football. … The way he’s playing down in Houston, they’re getting everything going in the right direction. Matt Schaub has really taken off as an elite quarterback. I think Arian Foster is one of the top-five running backs in this league. I think that team is bound for the playoffs this year and looking forward to great things.”
Currently the Houston Texans have two wide receivers that have caught an NFL pass – Johnson and Kevin Walter. They brought in veteran Mike Sims-Walker for a three-day tryout during mini-camp earlier this month but Sims-Walker did not sign with Houston and is still a free agent.
Burress comes with age (he turns 35 in August) and baggage, but he also has an upside. The Jets finished the 2011 season averaging 206 yards passing per game while Mark Sanchez had a completion percentage of 56.7% and a 78.2 QB rating. Yet Burress had 45 catches for 612 yards and eight touchdowns.
The 6’5” Burress adds a big target and NFL experience to the defending AFC South Champions. With Johnson coming off of arthroscopic knee surgery in May and a very young and inexperienced receiving corps behind him, the upside might be too much for the Texans to pass up.
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