Opinion Brief

Does ex-convict Plaxico Burress have a future in the NFL?

The former star wide receiver is looking for work, after 20 months in the slammer. His agent insists Burress is a "top free agent," but will any teams agree?

Former New York Giants star wide receiver Plaxico Burress was released from prison Monday, after serving 20 months for carrying a loaded gun into a New York City nightclub. As part of his parole, Burress will have to find and keep a job, and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is sure he'll find one... back in the NFL. "He's going to be a top free agent," Rosenhaus says. "There are going to be multiple teams interested in signing him." Is that realistic, or just wishful thinking?

Burress is a bad bet: There are some teams that might take a chance on the 34-year-old has-been, says Mike Tuck at ESPN Radio. But "Burress just isn't worth the headache." In fact, though people remember him for his aging highlight reels, "he was barely worth it when he was good, young, and healthy." Since he's none of those things now, I don't expect the gamble "to pay off well.""WR Plaxico Burress is more risk than reward"

But some team will snap him up: Michael Vick re-established himself "as an elite performer" after his 20 months in prison, says Scott Garbarini in The Kansas City Star. And "it's a virtual certainty" that Burress will get a shot at redemption, too. He has reportedly "kept himself in excellent shape" in jail — a work ethic he wasn't known for when he was playing — and even if Burress is past his prime, "receivers of his size and skill set are still hard to come by.""Buyer beware on Burress"

Don't expect him to mimic Vick's comeback: "Vick came out of prison 30 years old," says Pete Prisco at CBS Sports. That's four years younger than Burress. And as a quarterback, Vick doesn't need speed and youthful energy as much as a wide receiver does. For all the bluster about Burress being desirable, I have to wonder, "did I miss the memo that said 34-year-old receivers who were never that fast in the first place and haven't played a down of football in three years are wanted commodities?""What's the market for Burress?"

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