Plaxico Burress won't officially be a free agent until the new league year begins on March 13, but he's already begun making his case to join the Philadelphia Eagles.
Appearing on Philadelphia sports radio station 97.5 the Fanatic, Burress was asked whether the Eagles are one of the teams on his radar. The 34-year-old wide receiver answered with enthusiasm.
"Nothing else would make me happier," Burress said. "Obviously coming to Philadelphia, instituting myself into that offense, it just adds a unique dynamic to what's already in place. You look at LeSean McCoy what he did this year, having an All-Pro year, probably the best year at running back, him and Maurice Jones-Drew. Everybody knows what DeSean (Jackson) does, he's capable of being one of the most explosive big-play receivers in all of football. And then Jeremy Maclin, who is getting better and better, and for myself, I just see myself in that offense being out there on the edge. You think of all the guys in that offense, there are just so many options."
One of the reasons that Burress and the Eagles have been linked as a potential match beginning last summer is the relationship between Burress and Michael Vick. Having gone through the transition from NFL star to incarceration and back again, Vick has served as a counselor of sorts to Burress, a fellow Virginian.
"I talk to him maybe once or twice a week," Burress said of Vick. "For us to get together and be able to play together, coming from where we come from, after everything we've been through, I think it would just be a special deal. I really believe that he can bring a championship to Philadelphia and I would love to be a part of that. For us to get out there and play together, I just think he brings so much more to a football team that nobody has. Talking about him, DeSean, Shady, Jeremy Maclin and myself, there are so many beautiful things on paper but it's still about going out and executing to win a football game."
Burress said that he was close to becoming an Eagle last offseason, when he chose to play for the New York Jets instead. With the Jets, he wasn't afforded much of an offseason to prepare, which he believed contributed to a slow start. On the season, Burress caught 45 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns. One area in which Burress hopes to follow in Vick's footsteps in an emergence in his second season removed from prison. That, Burress said, will begin with a productive offseason.
After I sign, "I just want to get to start working with my quarterback almost immediately so when we get to training camp and the first game of the season, it's just like clockwork," Burress said. "That's where it should be, if you want to be a productive team throwing the football, you have to have that relationship from a quarterback and wide receiver and I want to get to work with whoever that's going to be."
Burress' value is largely predicated on his performance in the red zone. At 6-5, Burress has made a living making tough catches in the end zone. In 2011, Burress was targeted 21 times in the red zone, catching 10 passes (tied for 10th in the league) for seven touchdowns (tied for sixth). For the Eagles, who have finished 14th in the league in red-zone efficiency each of the last two seasons, more touchdowns are surely welcome.