The New England Patriots have spent the offseason collecting offensive weapons, and it now appears that they are going to work out another one. Veteran WR Plaxico Burress. ESPN Insider Adam Schefter reports on Twitter that the team is going to work out Burress this afternoon. Burress is the last of the four veteran wide receivers left on the free agency market this season.
The move comes as a bit of a surprise. Burress was linked via rumors to the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers while the patriots appear to be stacked at the wide receiver position. New England has Brandon Lloyd, Wes Welker, Jabbar Gaffney among others on the roster right now at the receiver position.
Burress posted 45 receptions last season with the New York Jets and tied for the team’s leader in receiving touchdowns with eight.
Obviously, something is up at the Patriots camp. I realize that New England always brings in players for evaluations but why make this move at this point. Burress has been on the open market since the free agency period opened in March. You could make the argument that perhaps the Patriots are looking for a redzone target, but what are Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez?
Could this be a move to take Burress off the market and keep him away from the Miami Dolphins who might release Chad Johnson after his arrest last night? It wouldn’t be the first time the Patriots have made such a move. Earlier this offseason, the team claimed New York Giants TE Jake Ballard off waiver as the Giants wanted to release him and then re-sign him to a smaller contract after it was revealed that he would miss the 2012 season.
There is definitely some gamesmanship at play here. This could be just a workout in order to see where Burress is at physically, but the timing seems a bit odd.