In less than a month, former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress will be released from jail after serving 20 months for a weapons charge. Just a few weeks ago, the Bears failed to add a receiver during the draft.
Bears GM Jerry Angelo has maintained that the Bears open to signing free agents in every position but quarterback. Would it make sense to take a flyer on Burress?
The problems are obvious. Burress hasn't caught a football in two years. Even if he has had the chance to work out while in prison, he hasn't run routes. He hasn't been tackled. His wife reported that his already lanky frame has grown thin. He's 34 years old. Even if he's a perfect angel with his new team, he'll bring with him drama. The Bears don't handle drama well.
But if the Bears can sign him for a decent price, why not take a chance? His height and ability to run routes could make him a good fit for the Martz offense. He claims that he feels as healthy as he did in college, and he's had two years to repair from the abuse an NFL season provides. His speed isn't as great as other receivers in the league, but the Bears have two speedy receivers in Devin Hester and Johnny Knox. They have the powerful, third-down receiver in Earl Bennett. But they don't have a receiver who can pull down jump-balls. That's something that Burress' long arms can do.
Sign him for training camp, and see how he does. He would not be guaranteed a spot on the team, but he could be the missing piece.