Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was released from prison Monday morning after serving a 20-month sentence for handgun charges (for shooting himself in the leg at a New York City nightclub). The 33-year-old will attempt to return to the NFL after nearly three years away from football.
The Ravens have been mentioned as one of a handful of teams who could have interest in Burress. They could use another deep threat, and Burress was one of the league's most dangerous red-zone receivers in his prime. Ravens coach John Harbaugh also said back in January that the team would "consider him."
"I don't know Plaxico Burress at all, I've never met him, but we'd consider him." Harbaugh said, adding that the Ravens have discussions about most free agents. "We'd consider anybody. It just depends on where he's at. I'd like to find out what kind of person he is, to see where he's really at in his life."
It's natural to make a comparison to Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, who has salvaged his career after a long stint in prison for operating a dogfighting ring. But as I wrote on this blog a few months ago, Vick is a freak of nature and an anomaly.
Just because Vick was again able to play at a Pro Bowl level doesn't mean Burress, who has hauled in 505 catches for 7,845 yards and 55 touchdowns in nine seasons, will be able to. At his age, a return to stardom seems unlikely, but Burress can at least be a valuable role player -- and that's if he is indeed a changed man, which is no certainty. He did the prison time and deserves a chance to prove himself as a person and as a player, though.
Your turn: Should the Ravens make a play for Plaxico Burress?