Curran: Pats dodge bullet; Jets take Plax over Moss

Curran: Pats dodge bullet; Jets take Plax over Moss
July 31, 2011, 3:12 pm
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By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - It's been 33 months since (almost) 34-year-old Plaxico Burress caught a pass in an NFL game. In his final season with the Giants, he caught 10 balls for 133 yards in the season opener on September 14, 2008and five balls for 81 yards in the season's second game. He never caught more than four balls in a game after that and his high for receiving yards was 58. The biggest threat he posed was not to opposing defenses but his own offense and -- as it turned out, his quadriceps. On Sunday, the Jets secured the services of the once-dangerous receiver who went to jail for two years on a gun charge after pumping his own thigh full of lead in a New York City nightclub. Plax-Mania will ensue. But that's because of who he is, what he did and the fact that our media maw craves content and this is easy content. Did the New York Jets get profoundly better with the addition of Burress, a player on the slide downward before missing two seasons? I don't know how anyone could say "yes" with any kind of certainty. Good teams with smart people -- the Giants, Jets, Steelers, Eagles and Bucs -- were all interested in Burress. But the fact he ultimately signed for one year and 3 million shows that the offers expressed a reasonable level of skepticism. Burress isn't going to be a No. 1. He isn't going to take over games. What he can do for the Jets is command attention away from Santonio Holmes, help open things up for tight end Dustin Keller and give more room to the underrated Jerricho Cotchery. In the parlance of Randy Moss, the 6-foot-5 Plaxico can help "take the top offa defense."Which brings us to Moss. He introduced that phrase to the mainstream because he is the finest practitioner of that art. Even though 2010 was a disaster and his effort and attiude went totally in the tank after he left the Patriots (and neither were great before he left), at least he's played in the past two seasons. At least there's tape of him running fast and catching touchdowns. Burress is a very good player for his era. Moss is one of the all-time greats. Moss is already 34. How motivated Burress will be to apply himself to football fully after being away from his family while in jail is something to watch. Prison changes people, their priorities and their intensities. Moss' motivation, had the Jets pursued him fully, would have been to prove he was still Randy Moss. And that's always been a strong motivation for him. Plaxico Burress may make some plays for the Jets in 2011. But Randy Moss would have made a lot more. Recent history tells us who's got a better chance of being more productive. Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran