After a 2010 NFL season that saw the previously divisive Michael Vick become an NFL candidate, it leaves little doubt -- at least in the mind of agent Drew Rosenhaus -- that talented athletes with troubled past or littered records can come back and make an impressive run at it. Donte Stallworth has done it. Vick excelled in Philly as the latest example. Now, former Giants WR Plaxico Burress hopes to become the next celebrated comeback story.
In case you forgot, Burress has been serving a two-year sentence on a gun charge after his illegally carried firearm dropped down from the waistband of his pants in a NYC nightclub and fired, shooting Burress in the leg and almost nailing a security guard. He's scheduled for release this June.
The Giants and Ravens have already been mentioned as possibilities, and both teams have the kind of talent already at the wide receiver position that would allow Burress to come back slowly without a lot of expectations. Perhaps that's the best scenario, but Burress will be 34-years-old by the time the season opener rolls around and he might be looking for a real chance to play.
New York is also the media haven that blew up the Burress arrest in the first place, so it seems an odd choice to go back to. Baltimore is already loaded at wide receiver, unless Derrick Mason doesn't return, but that's replacing one aging receiver for another who's been sitting in prison for two years.
Instead, Kansas City, or a market like it, seems the perfect place for a receiver like Plaxico Burress to come back to. By now, the Chiefs have put together enough team leadership and an understandable system to buy into that bringing in a wild card like Burress makes more sense now than it would have one or two seasons ago. Teams like the Ravens can take that chance because a culture is already in place that's bigger than the issue or personality -- Kansas City is now entering that same territory.
The Chiefs have a no-nonsense professionalism in all aspects of media interaction and player expectations. If Burress is serious about coming to work and doing his job, he might enjoy an organization that will minimize any distractions and a market that will leave him alone a lot more than other larger regions.
The biggest reason Burress might fit best in KC is the need at wide receiver. The Chiefs will likely bring in some help through the draft, but receivers are generally a boom/bust enterprise and teaming a rookie with a veteran like Burress might be the best move the Chiefs could make to address the holes at the position. Dwayne Bowe had some brilliant games last season but it was clear the Chiefs need another target for Cassel at receiver. Burress would have a chance to make a real impact again on a team that won the division.
It's easy to dream of your team signing a project like this, since that's what most people think about when their team is not in the Super Bowl. And you can spin the topic to make a case for Burress going to nearly any team, I'm sure. But the Chiefs make sense for several reasons, providing a winning atmosphere, a low-pressure spotlight with a need at the position. Sounds like the perfect destination to me.