Wait. Hold on right there. I know you're angry and you're thinking "Plaxico Burress?!? On the Chargers?!? Well I never..." and your monocle is shattering against the polished marble floor. Hear me out for a second before you start your rabbling, people.
Plaxico Burress is released from prison this summer, convicted of carrying an unlicensed gun in public. He hasn't played a down of football since halfway through the 2008 season and by the start of the season he'll be 34 years old. These are the drawbacks.
The reasons for doing it are just as many. Burress is a 6'5" receiver that has had over 1,000 receiving yards in 4 out of his 9 seasons. He's big, he's strong, he has great hands and in his last two full seasons with the Giants he became maybe the best red zone receiver in the league (22 TDs in 31 games). He is the type of receiver that needed to be double-teamed. In a nutshell, Plaxico Burress was Vincent Jackson (just with different off-the-field issues).
The Chargers WR situation is a little odd at the moment. The only WR worthy of a starting spot that is currently signed would be Patrick Crayton, and I think he was always thought of as more of a #3. This extreme lack of depth is a big reason the team is expected to put the franchise tag on Vincent Jackson and pay him a lot of money on a one-year contract. However, considering Jackson already thought he was worthy of Top 5 WR money and a long-term contract.....something tells me that situation is headed towards another holdout.
Malcom Floyd has proved himself to be a good person, a tremendously-gifted WR and somebody who has difficulty staying healthy in the NFL. Legedu Naanee could possibly go seek greener pastures and look for a starting job elsewhere, after a disappointing 2010 season and now an embarrassing offseason arrest in Indianapolis. Buster Davis, as much as I like him, is going to have to hook on elsewhere and earn his way up the depth chart. Seyi Ajirotutu is still not ready to be a starter, and Kelley Washington was signed to be a Special Teamer. Does anything about this WR group make you feel comfortable about standing pat?
Plaxico needs a redemption team (I know, we're using the word "redemption" a lot today) and town. He's like Michael Vick, searching for that great situation in Philadelphia (and not caring much about the media in the town, or the money in the contract, or the starting job). He's like Terrell Owens, making himself a beloved member of the Buffalo Bills to earn his place in the league as a top WR once again. The length and amount of the contract will not matter as much as landing in the right situation, and I can't think of a better one for him than in San Diego.
Here he would immediately step onto a team that can compete, with a QB that loves to throw deep balls to tall WRs and a TE that requires a double-team on every play. He would also be walking into one of the friendliest media environments he could ask for.
Imagine if the Chargers signed Burress to a cheap one or two year deal, and then still franchised Vincent Jackson? That would be the Chargers rolling the dice and saying "We're going for the Super Bowl right now" without having to sign some long-term, bloated, Washington Redskins-type contract. That's something I would certainly have to consider if I were A.J. Smith.