This article is just me 'reading the team leaves,' so to speak. It's me looking at a situation, talking to people who know about it, and coming to a conclusion. Nothing more complicated to it than that.
And after looking at the events surrounding the recent release of former-Giants receiver Plaxico Burress from prison, I'm pretty convinced we will see him in a Colts uniform next year. And I'm not the only one.
Now, because some folks sometimes need this explained to them, this article is not me endorsing 'Plax to Indy!' I've never been a big fan of Burress. Sure, I cheered like a maniac when he schooled Ellis Hobbs near the goalline in the closing seconds of Super Bowl XLII, and so did . But, Burress had helped the New York Giants lose as many games as he helped win for them. His desire was always questionable. His work ethic was sloppy. In general, he was exactly the kind of wide receiver the Colts hate having on their roster.
Plus, the Colts don't need offensive weapons. They need people who can stop the friggin' run, and unless Plaxico can bulk up an extra 150 pounds and learn to play DT, I honestly don't think he's worth the effort in acquiring.
But, I'm not the Colts general manager. Chris Polian is, and we know that he is actively interested in Burress. He can't sign Burress because of the lockout, but that might end very shortly. When it does, the smart money is on Burress signing with the Indianapolis Colts, working as an 'insurance policy' in the event Austin Collie gets KOed again, or Anthony Gonzalez pulls a hangnail.
And when this happens, the person you can thank is none other than Tony Dungy.
The facts are there:
- Plaxico Burress is a free agent. The Giants do not own his rights.
- Tony Dungy is acting as Burress' 'mentor' in a similar way he mentors Michael Vick.
- Burress is actively working to repair his image and reputation, partnering with gun safety organizations and speaking out against the use of firearms.
- Tony Dungy has a very strong relationship with the Indianapolis Colts.
We also know that, back in 2009, Dungy was a critical element in Michael Vick signing with the Eagles. Without Dungy, that signing does not take place, and Vick is probably playing in Canada right now. We also know, from Dungy, that Philly is not a landing place for Burress. They're already loaded at receiver, and Andy Reid already has one Dungy reclamation project on his roster (Vick). He doesn't need two.
With the news last week that the Colts are interested in Burress, the smart money is on Dungy hooking up with his old friends in Indianapolis, convincing them that Plaxico is no longer an idiot, and securing an incentive-laden deal for the 33-year-old receiver to possibly revive his career playing football with the best quarterback ever to suit up.
Now, from a talent standpoint, Burress is is star player. So, I don't think people like Chris Polian need much convincing if Burress would want to sign with Indy. The key person to convince is Peyton Manning. Peyton is, like Burress, a free agent. When the lockout ends, he will likely sign the largest contract in the history of the NFL. This will give him even more power within the organization, and, at 35-years-old, the last thing Peyton wants to worry about is some lazy, over-hyped wide receiver looking to revive his career after stupidly getting busted with an illegal firearm three years ago.
But, if anyone can convince Manning of anything, it's Dungy. Manning has an ironclad loyalty to Dungy, and if Dungy is vouching for Plax, that will go a long way with Peyton. This is especially important if Peyton's brother (and Plax's former Giants teammate) Eli Manning is not convinced of Plax's conversion from screw-up schmuck to stand-up professional.
Thus, with all this in mind, and with teams like the Giants and Eagles out of the picture, I'm convinced Plaxico will be in blue and white next year. The only other team I can see in the picture is New Orleans. because of Saints coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees. But, the 'Dungy Factor' swings Plax to Indy because of Dungy's strong ties there. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks this. For whatever reason, NBA basketball player Tony Allen is Tweeting 'Burress 2 the Colts.' That counts for something, right?
Should it happen, the Colts would be a pretty ideal place for Burress. The support system in Indy is very solid. Plax would have Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, and Peyton around him, guiding him on how best to conduct himself as a Colt. And, seriously, if you're a WR whose been out of football for nearly three years, who better to revive your career with than Peyton Manning?