NEW YORK (AP) — Plaxico Burress is back in the Big Apple — with the New York Jets.
The former Super Bowl star with the Giants, recently released from prison after serving 20 months on a gun charge, reached an agreement in principle Sunday on a one-year deal with the Jets.
Burress, who turns 34 on Aug. 12, caught the game-winning touchdown in the Giants’ upset of the unbeaten New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl, before his career derailed after he accidentally shot himself in a New York nightclub in 2009.
His second chance at the NFL comes with a team that was interested in him a few years ago before he went to prison. Now, he’ll likely join the recently re-signed Santonio Holmes as Mark Sanchez’s top receivers.
Burress met with the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he spent his first five seasons, on Saturday after sitting down with Giants coach Tom Coughlin on Friday. Burress mentioned he would be interested in playing for several teams, including the Jets — and didn’t even need to meet with general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan to make his decision.
ESPN first reported the deal, saying it is for $3.017 million fully guaranteed.
Because of the NFL post-lockout rules, Burress can’t practice with the team until Thursday. But clearly, the Jets were confident the former Pro Bowl receiver has a lot left as they try for a Super Bowl run. Burress gives Sanchez a big receiver — he’s 6-foot-5 — to complement Holmes, Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller and a solid running game with Shonn Greene and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Burress has 505 catches for 7,845 yards and 55 touchdowns in his NFL career with the Steelers and Giants.
He caught 35 passes for 698 yards and five touchdowns in his final year with Pittsburgh in 2004 as the Steelers slowly broke in Ben Roethlisberger, a rookie at the time. Burress moved on to New York, where he thrived catching balls from Eli Manning, but often ran into trouble with Coughlin.
The move softens the blow for the Jets after losing out on getting cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, who was New York’s top priority after re-signing Holmes. But Asomugha surprisingly signed with Philadelphia, and the Jets were forced to turn their attention elsewhere.
Burress wrote on his Twitter page: “East Coast here I come!”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)