Rex Ryan talks Plaxico Burress
NEW YORK -- Plaxico Burress hasn't been shy about discussing the possibility of joining the Jets. So what does Rex Ryan think about the ex-Giant joining his team?
The coach is taking a wait-and-see approach.
"What (general manager Mike Tannenbaum) and I have always talked about is how we want to sign ... as many of our own players as we can," Ryan said Thursday night at a book signing at the Jets Shop in Manhattan. "We'll address (free-agency) once we have a better idea of what the rules are."
Without directly addressing Burress, Ryan said that he is "excited that players throughout the league seem to have an interest in the Jets."
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He added, in response to a question about Burress: "I'm excited about seeing what happens when the rules come out, and rolling up our sleeves and having at it."
Burress, in a one-hour interview with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on Monday, admitted that he has given thought to the possibility of playing for the Jets, calling the idea "appealing."
"It's been thought about," Burress said of the Jets. "I am not going to sit here and front. For me to go to one side to the other side and win a championship in the same (city), how many people have done that? And do I have the capability to lead a team to a championship? Without question."
Burress will be a free agent when the lockout ends. The Jets will be in the receiver market if they lose one of their starters, Santonio Holmes or Braylon Edwards, in free agency. Chances are, they won't be able to re-sign both under a salary cap, meaning the Jets will be pursuing a veteran such as Burress or Randy Moss.
Burress turns 34 in August and hasn't played football since 2008, when he accidentally shot himself in the thigh and was arrested for carrying an unlicensed gun.
When asked about adding another player with a past history of brushes with the law (both Edwards and Holmes have had run-ins with police during their playing careers), Ryan said, "Nobody's perfect. Everybody's made mistakes in their life. Certainly, I've made more than my share."
Burress was released from jail last week after serving 20 months.
"Of course they are appealing," Burress said of the Jets. "Ever since I came to New York, the fans have embraced me. It is a great city and a great town. It will always be a special place to me regardless of what happens. I can't say the Jets or Philly or anywhere of that nature but I am going to make a decision that is best for me and my family. It may not be the best team, but put yourself as a piece to the puzzle and say what's the best chance I have to win a championship."
Ryan didn't address Burress by name on Thursday. But he may have been issuing a pre-emptive warning to Burress, who has had a history of butting heads with his head coaches, when he said the Jets "demand a lot."
He added: "We want everything you've got so don't come play for the Jets if you're not willing to do that."
Ian Begley is a regular contributor to ESPNNewYork.com.
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