Brandon Jacobs talks Plaxico Burress
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Jacobs, speaking Tuesday at media day, said Burress wanted to sign with the New York Giants -- not the New York Jets -- when he became a free agent last summer. Jacobs also raised the possibility of a Burress reunion in 2012.
Asked if Burress had his heart set on returning to the Giants, Jacobs said, "Oh, no question, I know he did. I know he wanted to come to the Giants. We just didn't think it was going to be able to be done financially. But he may be (back) next year, who knows?"
Burress signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Jets, who guaranteed the entire deal -- the best offer he received. The Giants, whom he visited before signing with the Jets, proposed an incentive-laden contract with only $1 million guaranteed.
It was a bittersweet season for Burress. He was happy to be back on the field after a 20-month jail sentence for illegal weapons possession, and he produced several memorable moments, but his final numbers were modest for a starting wide receiver -- 45 catches for 612 yards and eight touchdowns.
Jacobs intimated that Burress was under-utilized by the Jets, also suggesting that Burress -- a free agent -- doesn't want to return because of their well-documented turmoil in the locker room.
"I don't see him back with the Jets next year at all," said Jacobs, who speaks with Burress regularly. "I don't know what he's thinking, but I don't see that. They've got a lot of things going on over there, and I don't know if he wants to be part of that."
The feeling is mutual as the Jets are planning to look to get younger at receiver. Burress also has serious questions about the ability of quarterback Mark Sanchez, a person close to the receiver said Tuesday. Jacobs didn't dispute that.
"I don't see him there due to (the limited) success he had last year, and I don't think it had anything to do with him," Jacobs said. "And I'll leave it at that."
Pressed, Jacobs added: "How many receiving yards did he have last year? How many catches did he have? He's a starting wide receiver -- (45) catches. We got three guys, four guys on our team that have that. He's a much better wide receiver than (45) catches, I tell you that."
Four years ago, Burress scored the game-winning touchdown for the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. Before the game, he made headlines by predicting a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots. Nine months later, he accidentally shot himself in leg, starting his downfall.
Burress ripped the Giants in a Men's Journal article that was published in September, saying quarterback Eli Manning never visited him in prison and claiming that Tom Coughlin is "not a real positive coach." Burress said he was turned off by Coughlin's reaction to the shooting incident, insisiting that the coach didn't show much concern.
This time, Burress will be reduced to spectator status at the Super Bowl, watching the Giants-Patriots rematch.
"Yes, he will be here," Jacobs said. "I do know that. He will be here."
In a recent phone conversation, Burress wondered what might have been, according to Jacobs.
"I talked to him a couple of weeks ago, when we were playing the 49ers, and he was like, 'This is crazy,' " Jacobs said. "Two of the teams he was looking at were playing in the NFC Championship Game."
The Jets finished 8-8, collapsing in December.
While he discussed the possibility of Burress returning to the Giants next season, Jacobs, along with defensive end Osi Umenyiora, face uncertain futures with the team even though both are under contract for next season.
Jacobs has a roster bonus of $500,000 due in March. The Giants will have to make a decision on the running back, who restructured his contract to help the Giants re-sign his good friend Ahmad Bradshaw. Jacobs has $4.4 million left on his contract next season.
"I've never really thought about that, and it doesn't really bother me," he said about what will happen after the Super Bowl. "I'm sure something is going to get worked out and things will be fine. I am playing in the Super Bowl for the New York Giants. And if that is the way it is, there is nothing I can do. I am trying to do as best I can to help this team win."
Umenyiora also has one year remaining on his contract at just under $4 million left. He held out of training camp for a new contract or to be traded to a team that would be willing to re-do his deal. He and his agent, Tony Agnone, even had a brief window to try and work out a deal before the team rescinded the permission. Umenyiora eventually caved in and returned to play for his current contract.
"I don't know what is going to happen after this game on Sunday," Umenyiora said. "We'll see."
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk was used in this report.
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