Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
With only two receivers who saw time last year currently signed to the roster, and an inexpensive price tag with no risk involved, the Steelers may find some value in giving WR Plaxico Burress an offseason to work his way into prominence.
Assuming the Steelers are planning to field a roster comprising of at least four Lonely Ends, they will need to come away from this offseason by spending some money on at least two of them.
Currently, Antonio Brown and Jerricho Cotchery are the only receivers signed to the roster who saw significant time last season. Restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders is expected to receive an original round tender offer as an RFA, and Mike Wallace is expected to sign elsewhere.
That leaves a few receivers left who had a few cups of coffee with the Steelers left. The oldest, by far, is Plaxico Burress. Having done next-to-nothing for the Steelers in 2012, some may be paraphrasing Kent Brockman in response to the question, "should the Steelers re-sign Burress?"
"The answer is no, of course not, what the hell kind of stupid question is that?"
But some say yes.
First and foremost, there's no way Burress could expect to sign more than a one-year deal for a veteran-minimum price, which doesn't come in the form of a much higher cap hit than signing a rookie for the minimum. The fact Burress spent the last two months of a dying season with the team and learning its offense provides something rookies simply won't have, even if they can match Burress's gangly 6-foot-5 inch frame.
Plus, Burress would have an entire offseason working within the framework of that offense, and give offensive coordinator Todd Haley the opportunity to prepare plans for him. That was something the team didn't have last season.
While Burress's odometer rolls forward another click in the wrong direction, it's an inexpensive option for a depth-starved position, and without the (ahem) tried-and-true staple of fade throws to Wallace in the corner of the end zone as part of the goal line package, he could still develop as a nice compliment to tight end Heath Miller in those situations.