Early this morning, Plaxico Burress met with Mike Tomlin to have breakfast in the cafeteria at Steelers training camp at St. Vincent College. It's unclear just how seriously the Steelers are pursuing Burress, but you have to imagine that the interest is real. After all, the cafeteria at St. Vincent is to the NFL what Fiji is to the Bachelor -- the perfect place to fall in love.
It's hard to establish an opinion one way or the other on whether the Steelers should bring Burress back because no one seems to know what he has left. He was at his peak before he shot himself in the leg and went to jail for two years. That's not something you can easily recover from.
Given the caveat that we have no idea whether Burress is even good, this flirtation with Plaxico is happening for one of the following three reasons:
1) Placate Big Ben: Ben may love his Band of Brothers but he would love it a lot more if he could get a taller member. He's been pining for a tall receiver since the day Plaxico left, and this very public desire once caused Hines Ward to take a break from taking offense at being a third round draft pick (the horror!!!) to take offense at being called not as tall as Plaxico. Under this theory, the Steelers want to show Big Ben that they are listening to him and will not hesitate to tell Ben how hard they "tried" to sign Plaxico after Plax gets double the money somewhere else.
2) Santonio Remorse: Santonio Holmes just got $24 million in guaranteed money from the Jets, the most ever for a wide receiver (or close to it). The Steelers dumped him for a 5th round pick just two years ago. (The Steelers eventually traded that 5th rounder to Arizona for a 6th round pick and Bryant McFadden, or as the package is more commonly called, a 6th round pick). The Steelers traded Holmes for nothing partially because they wouldn't have been able to sign him and partially because the Steelers simply cannot -- and I repeat, CANNOT -- tolerate one of their players smoking marijuana. It is unfathomable that the organization would ever tolerate any such immoral and illegal behavior. Never. Can't even imagine it.
The harsh truth for the Steelers is that trading Holmes for any sort of morality-related reason was ridiculous at the time and has proven to be completely disingenuous, even embarrassingly so. The guy was a perfect fit on the field for the Steelers. The argument that the team wouldn't have been able to sign him is probably true, but to ultimately come away with only a 6th round pick and some skid marks -- well, it doesn't add up.
|Can you believe it!?!? We got him AND a 6th rounder!!!!!|
3) Throw it to Plaxico! Hey, maybe he still has it.