Monday, August 1, 2011

Why The Plax Love?

Plaxico Burress, late of the crossbar hotel and the New York Giants, signed a deal with the crosstown Jets. It's being seen as something of a coup for his Rexness. For one year, and over 3 million bucks. And, um... why?

The last time Plax caught a ball in an NFL game, George Bush was in the White House. Osama Bin Laden and Michael Jackson were alive. "Brokeback Mountain" was winning the Oscars. Tiger Woods had a career. And he was 31 years old, and having the worst year of his profssional life, with just 35 catches in 10 games, for the second lowest yards per catch (13), and only four touchdowns.

That was when he decided to go to a nightclub wearing stretch pants with a gun ensemble, and nearly turned himself into a mezzo-soprano while committing his felony act of stupid. On the way out, he also dissed his coach (Tom Coughlin -- who would have guessed that he'd still be employed in the same job back then?), and more or less torpedoed his team's playoff changes, seeing how LB Antonio Pierce was never the same after his friend bailed.

In the two years since, Plax has gotten older. He's served jail time, which as Jamal Lewis showed, is really not a good thing for your conditioning and quicks. Corners have gotten bigger and stronger and faster and younger, all of which, well, he has not. So why are we supposed to be very excited about a rusty 34-year-old guy who won on height, timing and athleticism, who has only broken the 1,000 yard mark four times in nine years, almost all of which were spent as his team's #1 target... supposed to, well, matter?

I get that Plax might have a bounce back year in him. I get that 6'-5" doesn't get old, and that he was a decent downfield blocker back in the day. If he's your #3 guy, keeps his helmet on and his shoes tied, he could be an asset, especially in the red zone. But to think that he's just going to snap back to what he was -- and not just what he was when he left, but what he was before that -- is just lunacy.

The Eagles were said to be interested in him, and I, for one, am thrilled that they stayed away. Jason Avant is six years younger and has hands, if not Plax's height. He also costs boatloads less. Brent Celek is the same height as Plax, and 8 years younger; his hands aren't special, but I like the rest of his career better than Plax, too. Having young'uns like Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson hanging with Plax doesn't exactly fill my heart with joy, either. If you ask me what the remaining areas of need are for my laundry, I say linebacker for the first five picks, then the offensive line.

As for Plax to the Jets... well, OK, great. If I were a fan of that team, I guess I'd be down with less Braylon Edwards and Brad Smith, too. But if he's kept all year in your roto league, we really need to look into how the prison system is spending our tax dollars. I'm as progressive as any, but world-class athletic training with a Ponce de Leon chaser should not be the level of inmate care.

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