It seems as though there are plenty of teams who need wide receiver help in the NFL and now that Terrell Owens has signed with the Seattle Seahawks, one free agent name keeps popping up: Plaxico Burress.
Burress played for the New York Jets last year and was productive for a guy who had missed a significant amount of time on the field because he was in prison; he caught 45 passes for 612 yards and 8 touchdowns. Those stats would look pretty good for a team that is looking for wide receiver help, like the Dallas Cowboys or even his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The problem seems to be that Burress wants too much money to sign. The Steelers looked into signing Burress but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s Steelers beat writer, Ed Bouchette, reported that Burress has a big back tax bill to pay, somewhere in the neighborhood of $59,000. Asking for too much money could be leading Burress to price himself out of range of what many teams are willing to spend on a free agent, especially one that is 34 years old.
Regardless of what Burress’ asking price is, the Cowboys should look into signing the veteran wide receiver. He’s not what he used to be but it appears as though the Cowboys don’t have their third receiver currently on the roster. That is not my opinion; that is what anyone who covers the Cowboys for a living is saying. Any report on some of the young receivers performing well in camp is good, but none of them appear capable of taking over as the third receiver full-time.
Neither Raymond Radway or Cole Beasley, who have both made big plays in training camp so far, have done enough to win the job. Nor has the incumbent Kevin Ogletree or Jerry Jones‘ dark horse, Andre Holmes. In fact, the most impressive of the young receivers has been an undrafted guy out of Tennessee Tech named Tim Benford, while 5th-round draft pick Danny Coale will see his first practice this week after a foot injury has kept him out since May.
Look at all of those names; do you think any of them scare an opposing defense? I am all for continuing the training camp competition at wide receiver and not pushing the panic button until you have to but it is something to worry about. If either Dez Bryant or Miles Austin misses any significant amount of time, who would you rather have out on the field, a proven guy like Burress or a guy still trying to find his way in this league?
The answer seems obvious but I’m not sure the Cowboys, or anybody, are willing to pay what Burress wants. Hopefully the price will come down near the end of training camp but until then I would continue to give the young receivers a chance to play in a few games to show if they belong in this league.
It’s a gamble for the Cowboys and the clock is ticking, but to not consider Burress as an option at this point seems extremely short sighted.