[Note by Ed Valentine, 06/06/11 9:12 AM EDT: Plaxico Burress is free. He walked out of Oneida Correctional Facility at 9 a.m.]
Plaxico Burress becomes a free man today after serving 20 months in prison after shooting himself in the leg at a New York City nightclub. Thanks to Twitter the world will know the second he walks out of the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y. -- we already know reporters are outside the gates waiting to catch a glimpse of the former New York Giants wide receiver and race to be the first to tweet the news.
Attention will quickly turn, if it hasn't already, to what NFL team Burress will resume his NFL career with. Burress's agent, Drew Rosenhaus has been beating the Burress drum and claiming 'many teams' are interested in Burress, who will be 34 in August.
"He will play in the NFL this year," Drew Rosenhaus, Burress' agent, said in an email to The Associated Press. "Many teams want him. He will be a top free agent. He is healthy and ready to go. He will be signed shortly after the lockout ends."
Is that really the case? Do 'many teams' really want the 6-foot-5 Burress? Rosenhaus can say that, but remember it is his job to create interest in Burress and help him resuscitate his NFL career.
Burress was one of the game's best receivers before shooting himself in the leg and landing in prision. He caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl 42 from Eli Manning. Three times in his nine-year career he has caught at least 70 passes. He has 55 career touchdowns and has been a great red zone weapon because of his size and leaping ability.
Will there, however, really be an all-out bidding war for his services once the NFL Lockout ends. You have to wonder. There will be interest, of course, but it is hard to imagine Burress any team offering a wide receiver who has not played since November of 2008 and spent nearly two years in prison huge money.
It appears the Giants will not be among the bidders. Many Giants players have supported a return by Burress, but the organization has never truly expressed interested and Giants running back Brandon Jacobs, a close friend of Burress's has said emphatically that Burress will play elsewhere.
"He ain't coming to the Giants," Jacobs said. "That's out of the question. He's got options and it's good that he can wait out his options. I would love for him to be a part of the Giants, but I don't think that's even on his plate. He doesn't think anything is wrong with the organization, he just wants a new start."
So, where will he land? Here are five possibilities.
Philadelphia Eagles -- This is the team everyone keeps talking about. They took a chance on Michael Vick when he was released from prison, and that has worked out exceedingly well for them. Jacobs has referenced that the Eagles are a team Burress would like to play for. It makes sense in many ways because Philadelphia is a good team, and with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin already there Burress would not have to be counted on to play a starring role. Yet, none of the Burress-to-Philly talk has actually come from the Eagles. It has all come from elsewhere.
St. Louis Rams -- The Rams need targets for second-year quarterback Sam Bradford. They did not really have any a season ago, and the drafting of a tight end and two wide receivers in the first four rounds of the 2011 NFL Draft shows that they know they need upgrades. The Rams, of course, are coached by former Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo and several former Giants are already there. So, this could be a fit.
Washington Redskins -- I am not really sure this makes sense, for Burress or for the Redskins. There seems to be a lot of chatter about Washington chasing Burress, though, and I guess I wouldn't put anything past Redskins owner Dan Snyder. If there is one owner silly enough to offer Plax big money it might be Snyder.
New York Jets -- They might be losing Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes, and there has been talk of Randy Moss or even Chad Ochocinco to the Jets. So, you have to throw Burress' name into the conversation with the Jets. What works against it is the fact that this would still put Burress in New York, which is not exactly a fresh start.
New England Patriots -- Hey, why not? Bill Belichick has seen first-hand what Burress was able to do at his best. The Patriots were not afraid to deal with Randy Moss, and were not afraid to move him when that was no longer working. They have a history of bringing in veteran players who might no longer be in their primes but can still contribute, which is likely where Burress is at this point in his career.
I am sure there will be other teams who will kick the tires on Plax. Where do you think he ends up?