The Steelers went back to the future today. They signed former first round draft pick Plaxico Burress.
Burress was drafted by the Steelers back in 2000. The 6’5″ wide receiver made his presence known during his sophomore season, when he had over 1,000 receiving yards.
In 2004, when Ben Roethlisberger became the Steelers’ starting quarterback as a rookie, Burress quickly became his closest friend on the team, as well as his favorite receiving target. Burress left the Steelers as a free agent in Big Ben’s second season, but Roethlisberger was very vocal about his preference for tall receivers. In fact, it was that preference that led the Steelers to start drafting tall wide receivers like Dallas Baker, Toney Clemons, Fred Gibson, and He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken (you know who I mean).
Now that I think about it, Ben kinda screwed the team by making his preference for tall receivers known. But that’s a conversation for another time.
Burress went to the New York Giants when he left the Steelers in 2005. He played there until he had that unfortunate night club incident that resulted in him shooting himself in the leg and receiving prison time. When he got out of prison, he signed with the New York Jets, and had a fairly productive 2011 season in which he had over 600 yards receiving, and scored 8 touchdowns. Nevertheless, the Jets didn’t sign him for a second season. Instead, Burress sat at home, hoping to be signed by somebody. Anybody. And today, he got his wish.
Burress doesn’t have the speed that he once had. But he’s 6’5. That’s something that none of the “Young Money” receivers can say. And we know that it’s a trait that Big Ben likes. If nothing else, Plax should make a good target in the red zone.
By the way, the Steelers also signed another backup quarterback. Most fans have probably never heard of him before, so I’m going to leave it that way and not talk about him. Just know that there’s a new guy on the team who will probably never set foot on the field.