The story goes that the Eagles are going to be "first in line" to talk to Burress when he is released from jail in early June. Quarterback Michael Vick has told reporters that he is interested in speaking with Burress prior to Burress' release in two weeks.
Wow. It is quite the jaw-dropper. The Eagles, of course, are never afraid to take chances. They've done so many times over the years, and the rehabilitation of Vick on the field and off will someday be legendary. It already ranks as one of the finest organization-wide/player wide pieces of work in franchise history.
Burress is a bit of a different case, of course. He was incarcerated after shooting himself in the leg outside a nightclub in Manhattan and was sent away on a weapons charge particular to the state of New York. Prior to that, Burress was never in trouble with the law and was, without a doubt, one of the very best receivers in the game.
Certainly, he gave the Eagles all kinds of troubles. Burress' length and his jumping abilities dominated the Eagles at times in the red zone. His length and his excellence at releasing against press coverage made him a prime target for Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
There are questions about Burress and what he has left in his tank. He hasn't played in the NFL since 2008. According to the report -- very well done by Gary Myers in the New York Daily News -- Burress has lost 15-20 pounds during his time in prison. He obviously has not trained anywhere near to the level he would in the NFL.
Would the Eagles be interested? I don't know. And nobody is going to comment on this story until the time is appropriate, I can guarantee you that. Teams are not permitted to approach any players until the work stoppage is over.
The Eagles have a healthy situation at wide receiver, but they are always on the lookout for more talent, more ways to score touchdowns. Burress is a weapon for any team in the red zone, that's for sure. He wouldn't need to come in here and start immediately.
In fact, the situation -- on the surface -- bears some resemblance to Vick's as he emerged from prison. Vick was signed as a long-term project, a talented player whom the Eagles hoped to work into the offense. Vick showed flashes in Year 1 until he suffered a thigh injury late in the season and then he was slowed. A full offseason of conditioning returned Vick to his pre-prison athleticism, and then some.
Burress plays a different position, of course. Wide receiver demands that a player is quick off the line of scrimmage and in and out of breaks, and that he has a burst to separate from a defensive back. Burress was never known for his quickness, per se. Instead, he created space by using his body, his hands and his tremendous leaping ability.
We can all dream a little bit now, and visualize the possibilities. It is prime food for thought, a tasty appetizer during this starvation times.
Burress an Eagle? There are no promises, and there is absolutely no inside word here. But, boy, out of the blue, we all have something to ponder and consider to take up the days ahead.