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Old 05-31-2011, 02:18 PM   #28
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Miller: Signing Plaxico Burress Makes No Sense For Eagles
In the wildest dreams of Eagles fans and of executives at HBO, the Eagles will sign Plaxico Burress as soon as he’s released from prison and will agree to be featured on HBO’s NFL reality show “Hard Knocks.”

We can all agree that it would be awesome viewing for fans, create tremendous story lines for columnists and talk radio hosts, and raise Eagle hysteria back to Defcon 5, i.e., T.O. level.

You can see it now. The HBO cameras whirring as Michael Vick and Plaxico provide running commentary while they watch” Shawshank Redemption.” Plax talks weaponry with hunters Kevin Kolb and Trent Cole. Andy Reid tries to shed a few pounds, Plax tries to put ‘em on.

It would be great for everybody — except for Burress and the Eagles. For the soon-to-be-ex-inmate and socially responsible local football team, it’d be close to a disaster. And that’s why none of it will happen.

The New York Daily News theorized over the weekend that the Eagles might be a prime landing spot for Burress, who’s due to be released from prison on June 6.

As you know, Burress has spent the last two years in jail after a very stupid incident in which he shot himself in the leg. And as you also know, he’s killed the Eagles over the years, so much so that once upon a time (actually, twice upon a time), they employed Hank Baskett as a poor man’s Plax.

Burress is a weapon that many teams would love to have. But the newspaper report’s rationale is pretty shaky — there doesn’t appear to be any reporting at all, just speculation that since they signed someone out of jail once before, they know how to make it work and they’ll do it again. But they also saw first-hand what a waste that first year was – fresh out of a year and a half at Leavenworth, Vick was a shadow of his former self; apparently, spending a couple years in an 8-by-10 cell is not a good way to stay in prime shape. And it’s not exactly health food they’re serving in there.

Burress, who’s 33-years-old, has reportedly lost 20 pounds since being sent up the river. The odds are heavily stacked against him being even close to productive in 2011 season, thanks to the combo of being locked up and locked out. He simply isn’t going to be in any semblance of football shape.

For Burress, he’d be compared play in and play out to Vick, and he would pale in comparison. For the Eagles, not only would Burress’ football contribution likely be minimal, but they’d be painting themselves into an odd position – they’d be portrayed as the NFL’s halfway house. They caught enough grief for signing Vick out of prison. If they signed Burress, they’d be revisiting all that turmoil. Nobody needs that big of a soap opera.

And “Hard Knocks”? The HBO show turned Rex Ryan and the Jets into a summer sensation. Fans across the country ate it up. And now, no team in the NFL wants to do it. The Jets say they won’t do it again. The Buccaneers have passed. The Falcons thought about it, but demurred. The Cowboys have said they’ll never do it again.

Nobody wants the spotlight, even a fun-loving guy like New York’s King Rex. Certainly, Andy Reid controls everything around his football team, and is never going to give up the level of control needed for the Eagles to participate.

As far as we know, the Eagles have never considered appearing on the show, but they are one of the league’s marquee teams with the lightning rod that is Vick, so you know HBO has asked, or will ask. But the answer will be “no.”

Which will be a shame when we’re all looking for some summer viewing. But it might be a good thing for the Eagles ‘round about playoff time.
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