Plaxico Burress to Miami Could Further Help Dolphins Wildcat Formation

July 19, 2011 by

The laundry list of teams interested in wide receiver Plaxico Burress continues to grow this month, and it’s only July. With talks of a new collective bargaining agreement intensifying day to day, players and coaches now prepare for free agency and training camp – both of which could occur by the end of the month.

There’s no doubt Burress will find a new home when free agency springs to life – but the question of where he will land rather than when has most people talking. Fellow wide receiver Randy Moss is also looking for a new home this season, meaning two of the league’s strongest receivers are likely to draw in million dollar contract offers as soon as the lockout is lifted, and negotiations come to a standstill.

As it stands, Burress is reportedly interested in four teams right now, with the Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets headlining the possibilities. However, while being interviewed by Sid Rosenberg on WQAM radio on Monday, Burress expressed interest in taking his talents to south beach – as the possibility of forming a dynamic duo with wide receiver Brandon Marshall excites him.

“We would be the best duo in football” Burress said on air.

With interest set to skyrocket as time passes, the Dolphins would have to be prepared to engage in a bidding war for Burress’ services — that is if they are interested at all. Even so, the thought of Burress joining Miami’s wildcat formation under quarterback Chad Henne is intriguing, and may be the pick-me-up the Dolphins 21st rank offense needs to stoop above .500 this season.

Out of all the exciting parts of Burress’ game, his leadership is by far the most important. That statement can be stressed even more considering quarterback Chad Henne is now guaranteed the starting job – and while the Dolphins are already severely disadvantaged in a competitive AFC East division – adding a 33-year old receiver could at least keep the offense in rhythm.

But nevertheless, the wildcat formation has the most to gain should the Dolphins consider the Burress option. In 2010 Miami’s wildcat lineup lacked the fierce demeanor it did in 2009 – mostly due to quarterback confusion, injuries, and a mildly weak year from running back Ronnie Brown. Of course, throwing Burress into the mix could fix that up.

If the veteran leadership doesn’t persuade owner Stephen Ross, Burress’ deep ball capability should, especially in a wildcat situation. And although we haven’t seen Burress in action since 2008 – right before he officially became a convicted felon – he’s always been a problem for defenses at a staggering height of 6ft 5.

But could Burress throw a touchdown pass, or handle such a diverse offense like Brandon Marshall had to adapt to?

That’s the problem many people see, and perhaps the reason why the Dolphins haven’t pursued Burress so far this offseason.

Still, Burress has developed a reputation for helping quarterbacks out – and the Dolphins could do with that. In his time with the Giants, Eli Manning not only secured his first Super Bowl ring, he also threw four consecutive 3000 plus yard seasons. Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Kordell Stewart also reaped the benefits of having Burress on his side in 2001, throwing for over 3,000 yards and finishing his best season with a passer rating of 81.7.

Should the Dolphins be listening to Burress’ small desire to join Marshall in Miami, he may not be such an absurd option to think about. Out of all the teams seriously considering Burress, all are looking for a number two wide receiver. The Jets feature Santonio Holmes as their predominant number one. The Eagles have quickly become DeSean Jackson’s team in the past few years. Meanwhile, the Texans are also interested in tagging someone alongside Adrian Johnson in the future to help secure their first playoff berth.

If the Dolphins are serious about transforming their offense in free agency, fixing up the wide receiver spot should come first if you are head coach Tony Sparano. Therefore, Burress is a wild cat worth watching.

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