Before he even served the first day of his 20-month sentence Plaxico Burress was rumored to become a Raider upon his release. Nothing really shocking there. About the only thing less imaginative than linking knuckleheads to Oakland is Rebecca Black’s song writing.
Every year there is some locker room cancer looking for a new gig and without fail the Silver and Black suddenly have a horse in a race they never even entered.
It’s easy to understand where the notions come from. Al Davis built the reputation of his franchise on the backs of misfits and knuckleheads. Of course that was over 30 years ago. Recently Davis has taken a much different approach to building his roster. Blowing $39-million on a QB who craves Krispy Kreme more than he does football will do that.
Davis has officially changed his policy. Too bad the rest of the speculative media hasn’t.
Even if the Raiders have any interest in securing the services of Burress once the lockout is lifted there is nothing that indicates he’d be a good fit in Oakland.
To begin Burress isn’t the type of player Davis likes out wide. He’s got great size but lacks true Raider speed. Size does matter in Davis’ football manifesto but only if that large frame is accompanied with 4.3-second speed. See Chaz Schilens as Exhibit A in that argument.
Currently Hue Jackson has a bevy of young receivers with blazing speed. If the Raiders were to bring a veteran into the mix it would make much more sense to do so with a guy that has suited up and played on a Sunday or two over the last couple seasons. There’s no telling what type of shape Burress is in after his time behind bars. He could be in the best shape of his life for all we know. However there is a huge difference between being in shape and being fit to play football.
In a season that is already being cut short by the lockout there is no time to wait for a 33-yeard-old to get up to speed. If this labor situation comes to a resolution soon then teams will have to hit the ground running.
By bringing in a wild card such as Burress you also run the risk of ruining all of the great chemistry built up over the past year. Richard Seymour and Jason Campbell have emerged as the true leaders the Raiders have been lacking since Rich Gannon left the East Bay. Should Burress enter into the fray there’s no way of knowing how that will affect the current hierarchy in the locker room.
All in all it just doesn’t make much sense to gamble on Plaxico. He certainly isn’t going to be the difference maker necessary to add another Lombardi to Al’s collection. Questionable character issues aside, the team would have to be patient with him while he works his way back into football form. Given his age and inactivity over the past two years there isn’t much upside in signing the former Super Bowl hero.
Like so many other things in life it is all about timing. At this time it just doesn’t make much sense for the Oakland Raiders to take the Plaxico plunge. But that won’t stop the rumors from persisting.