Plaxico is a Jet, now what?

July, 31, 2011
7/31/11
10:41
AM ET
So Plaxico Burress is going to play in New York but with the other team –- the New York Jets.

That Christmas Eve date with the Jets at the New Meadowlands just got even more interesting.

When asked on Saturday what he thought of the idea of Burress potentially joining Rex Ryan when reports came out that the Jets were going after the wideout, Justin Tuck said, “I hope not.”

So what do the Giants do now?

Free agent receiver Steve Smith has yet to re-sign and is still recovering from microfracture surgery. Smith has long been expected to re-sign but there’s no guarantee he will be ready at the start of the season and even if he is, how long will it take for him to get back to top form this season?

Ramses Barden (ankle) has already started camp on the PUP list.

They still have Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham and have depth with third-round pick Jerrel Jernigan, Domenik Hixon, Victor Cruz and Devin Thomas among others.

But Burress was an offensive weapon the Giants could have used to enhance their offense, a 6-foot-5 playmaker. And that’s my argument here: the Giants need playmakers. I know the Giants don’t want to hear it, but the Eagles have playmakers all over the place.

The Eagles have made moves early, piecing together a Dream Team of cornerbacks to go with an already explosive offense.

The Giants still have to re-sign Ahmad Bradshaw, Smith and tight end Kevin Boss. And then if those three return, they still can use more.

Until now, the Giants’ biggest signing has been their re-signing of Mathias Kiwanuka and the addition of former San Francisco center David Baas.

Their biggest splash of free agency really has been the releasing of center Shaun O’Hara, guard Rich Seubert and tackle Shawn Andrews.

It remains to be seen how much money the Giants will have left if they are able to bring back Bradshaw, Smith and Boss.

If the Giants’ biggest remaining moves of free agency are re-signing those three major contributors -- which is very important -- there will still be a feeling that the Giants haven’t really improved a ton since last season.

Perhaps the Giants really think they will be better with unproven youngsters ready to step up such as defensive tackle Linval Joseph. Is this the year that former second-round picks LT Will Beatty and linebacker Clint Sintim, who is coming off ACL surgery from last year, make an impact?

The Giants had a good draft but how much will cornerback Prince Amukamara (who has missed the first two days of camp with his contract unsigned), defensive tackle Marvin Austin and Jernigan contribute this season in a year when rookies lost the entire offseason program due to the lockout? Rookies are scrambling just to learn the playbook now when they usually start looking at schemes shortly after the draft in the spring.

Eli Manning never sounded all that hot about the idea of a Burress reunion. But the Giants can use more weapons to hang with the likes of the Eagles.

That’s something worth lobbying for.

Ohm Youngmisuk has covered the Giants, Jets and the NFL since 2006. Prior to that, he covered the Nets, Knicks and the NBA for nearly a decade. He joined ESPNNewYork.com after working at the New York Daily News for almost 12 years and is a graduate of Michigan State University.
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