If the Bears really want to go out and get a top-flight wide receiver, here is their chance.
The New York Giants just put Plaxico Burress on the market by cutting the controversial wideout and former Super Bowl champion who caught the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII.
Burress could be staring down some jail time after shooting a hole in his leg last November at a Manhattan night club. He's angling for a plea, reportedly, but it would still likely involve incarceration. If the Bears are willing to wait for a second fiddle defensive tackle like Tank Johnson to do some time in the poky, why not Burress? Just think of the long line of Halas Hall employees who could visit Burress in lockup, if he winds up there.
Burress is 31 but still has productive years ahead of him. He's a big target, he'll block downfield and even if he can't give you an entire season in 2009--the long arm of Roger Goodell has not reached him yet--he could be there moving forward.
The free-agent market is barren when it comes to top talent. There will be no sure thing in the draft at No. 49. The last time the Bears chose a wide receiver in the second round, they got Mark Bradley. What's worse? Putting up with some of the baggage Burress would bring to town or risking missing again in the draft at wide receiver. For review, check the chart we put together Thursday on general manager Jerry Angelo's track record drafting wideouts.
As connected as Jay Cutler and Earl Bennett were for one season at Vanderbilt, Bennett was a zero last season for the Bears. Bringing in Cutler alone isn't going to turn him into a top-flight receiver. That's also no sure thing. If the Bears are serious about their win-now approach, and dealing for Cutler and signing Orlando Pace indicates they are, then they have to consider Burress.