Friday, April 3, 2009

Giants Release Burress

The New York Giants cut ties today with their star receiver Plaxico Burress. Burress was New York's prize free agent signing back in 2005 and caught the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII. Burress missed the last six games of the 2008 shooting due to being injured in a self-inflicted shooting accident. As a result of the incident Burress faces possible jail time on illegal gun charges and a likely suspension by the league. Given the uncertain status of their receiver it makes sense for the Giants to cut him. The Giants need to move past the negative media attention that has surrounded the case and focus on players they know will be available to them next season. The problem for the team is how do they replace Burress on the field.

Burress is a rare combination of size and speed, that creates match-up problems for opposing defenses. His absence during the end of the regular season and playoffs was noticeable. The Giants were 10-1 before Burress incident (Burress did miss one of the games due to injury) but just 2-4 without him, including a 23-11 home playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. New York will need to find a way to replace Burress. With free agency over a month old the Giants won't find that replacement on the open market. Big name receivers like T.J. Houshmanzadeh, Terrell Owens and Laveranues Coles have already signed with other teams. The Giants also may struggle to find a replacement in the draft. The Giants pick 29th overall and many of the big tall receivers, such as Micheal Crabtree, Hakeem Nicks and Darrius Heyward-Bey, will likely be long gone by the time New York is on the clock. My guess is the Giants will fill their need for a big play maker through a trade. Three names to watch Braylon Edwards (Browns), Anquan Boldin (Cardinals), and Chad Johnson (Bengals) all would fit the Giants need and to some degree are available. Any one of those players will cost at the very least the Giants first round pick (or at least that value range) with Boldin requiring the biggest package. At the same time Boldin makes the most sense for New York. No one questions Boldin's on the field abilities unlike some do with Edwards. Also while questions remain about Boldin's attitude they are minor and wouldn't be near the distraction that Johnson can be. All three come with question marks and high price tags but will give Eli Manning the big target that he sorely needs. I wouldn't necessarily expect a move to be made right away but look for a trade to happen in the days leading up to the draft.

No comments:

Post a Comment