- Jane McManus, Reporter & Columnist, espnW.com
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Plaxico Burress has quite a few thoughts on where he'd like to play after spending the past two years in prison for carrying a gun into a New York City nightclub and shooting himself in the leg.
"(Jets owner) Woody Johnson has been doing a great job running that organization," said Burress, wearing a pinstriped suit and lilac tie as he tries to rehabilitate his image. "(Coach) Rex Ryan definitely has that team going in the right direction. They're definitely right on the cusp of, I think, going to a Super Bowl and eventually winning it."
As for the Texans, he said: "When you say Houston, all I can say is 'Wow.' That's all I can say, because I give respect where respect is due. And I believe Andre Johnson is the best wide receiver in football. ... The way he's playing down in Houston, they're getting everything going in the right direction.
"Matt Schaub has really taken off as an elite quarterback. I think Arian Foster is one of the top-five running backs in this league. I think that team is bound for the playoffs this year and looking forward to great things."
Then, during a call-in interview with Philadelphia radio station 97.5 The Fanatic, Burress gushed about the Eagles.
"It's definitely attractive," he said. "I'm not going to sit here and say it's not. I mean I just look at the pieces to the puzzle that's already in place, and if I can just go out there and fill that void and just be that extra playmaker and go out and have a presence, have an impact, ya know, make the guys better around me, it's a great opportunity."
A big part of the equation for playing with the Eagles would be to team with quarterback Michael Vick.
"Oh, it would be a dream come true," he said. "I have a lot of respect for Mike, not just as a quarterback but as a person -- you know what he's overcome and what he's went through and just the way he bounced back. ...
"And for me and him to be able to play together ... you know we played against each other in high school, we're pretty much from the same area -- everybody back home would go absolutely bananas. And to just have me, him and DeSean (Jackson) and those guys lining up on the same offense on Sunday ... it would really be exciting."
The 34-year-old Burress is the kind of player the Jets could consider. Ryan has shown a willingness to take a chance on talented and proven wide receivers who have a lot of baggage. Santonio Holmes was suspended his first four games with the Jets last season for violating the NFL's drug policy, and Braylon Edwards had charges pending in Cleveland stemming from a nightclub incident when the Jets brought him to the team.
Both Holmes and Edwards are free agents. Financially, it could be difficult to keep both once free agency begins, and Burress could be an attractive replacement for the right price, although it remains to be seen if the wideout is still in football shape after so much time out of the game.
Burress also revealed during his NFL Network interview that he did not understand the legal implications of carrying the unlicensed gun in Manhattan or that he could face more than a few months in prison, where he ultimately spent 21 months before being released in June. He said teammates Michael Strahan, Brandon Jacobs, Osi Umenyiora, David Tyree, Gibril Wilson and Amani Toomer came to visit him during his incarceration.
"It was just good to see those guys," Burress said. "Me being in that situation, me being at the lowest point in my life, to have those guys support me, it really meant a lot."
Burress was at the top of his game before the self-inflicted gunshot wound. The morning of his sentencing, Burress said he had breakfast at a hotel and later that day was behind bars, a surreal experience. He had made the winning catch as the Giants beat New England to win the Super Bowl in 2008.
He has 505 receptions for 7,845 yards and 55 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons.
Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com.
Plaxico Burress said that he could see himself playing for either the Jets or Texans.