Is ESPN New York columnist Ian O'Connor right when he says the New York Giants might have made "a colossal free-agent mistake" by letting Plaxico Burress slip away, especially since he signed with the New York Jets?
This is part of what O'Connor wrote this morning:
The New York Giants won't rue the day they let Burress become a New York Jet if the 34-year-old receiver pulls the hamstring an aging receiver coming off a 21-month stay in prison might be expected to pull.
But if Burress spends the 2011 season as the kind of target and touchdown maker he was in the first half of a 27-7 preseason victory over the wretched Cincinnati Bengals, the Giants won't bother fretting over the losses of Kevin Boss and Steve Smith.
Their fans will be too busy raging about the lousy three million bucks the Giants wouldn't guarantee Burress.
You know what I think? I think O'Connor is doing a great job fanning the flames and creating controversy, just like a good New York columnist should. I also think he is all wet.
There will also be fans who rant and rave about Burress, whining that the Giants should have brought him back after his two-year prison sentence. You know what the problem with that is, though? You still can't convince me -- and you never will convince me -- that Burress was serious about rejoining the Giants. Not when he had options other than playing for Giants coach Tom Coughlin, whom he dislikes and had a difficult time working for no matter what he says now. Whether the Giants were ever serious about bringing Burress back I don't know. GM Jerry Reese says they were, but I'm not so sure they really acted like it.
I think they read the tea leaves, knew Burress did not really want to be a Giant as long as he had other options, and at least went through the motions of making it look like the sides had tried to reconcile -- if not re-marry. In other words, you can rip the Giants all you want here, but I don't think a Burress-Giants reunion was ever really going to happen as long as other teams wanted the 34-year-old wide receiver.
Burress had one nice exhibition game. Good for him. He still has talent. Good for him. Can he handle the rigors of a full NFL season? We don't know. Let's wait and see before we pass any judgment.
Calling the Giants not signing Burress a "colossal" mistake after one half of an exhibition game is way, way over the top. Especially when reality is that coming back to the Giants seems like the last thing Burress really wanted to do.