The Philadelphia Eagles aren't out to lay claim to being the home of choice for wayward NFL players.
But when you've played a leading role in one of the greatest rehabilitation projects the league has ever seen, it's easy to understand how they could receive such a designation.
The Eagles have been mentioned as a potential landing spot for Burress, who is due to be released from prison on June 6, once the league gets back to the business of signing players.
Expecting Burress to move on
It makes sense for the following reasons:
» Vick's tremendous success in 2010 is a reason for the Eagles to believe they know how to bring the best out of a player with a troubled past and one who hasn't played football for a long time. Burress will have spent one year, eight months, and 14 days in jail on a weapons charge. Meanwhile, Burress has seen how the Eagles can be part of restarting a player's career. Through the Vick experiment, Andy Reid and his coaching staff have established themselves as having the necessary patience and knowhow to fix what is broken, mentally and physically, and end up with a finished product that's better than the original.
» Having played against Burress when he was with the New York Giants, the Eagles have a good understanding of what he is all about as a player and how to use him effectively in their offense. They also know that, with the Giants unlikely to take Burress back, he would have extra motivation to show his former team what it's missing.
» Vick can help Burress make it through the long and difficult process of transitioning back to the NFL after such a long time away. He can be a guide for what it takes to regain his physical conditioning, something Vick did while serving mostly as a backup in 2009, and for how to handle the many difficult questions he is bound to receive from the media. Burress will likely have it easier than Vick, because answering questions about accidentally shooting yourself in the leg at a nightclub is bound to be easier than addressing how you were part of a dog-fighting ring and involved in the torture and killing of animals.
» The fact Burress might be part of an abbreviated training camp doesn't create all that much of a drawback to the Eagles. With DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, the team doesn't need Burress to be its primary go-to receiver. All it needs is for Vick to have another reliable target. And although he turns 34 in August, Burress isn't too old to be brought along at a gradual pace.
When you add everything up, Philadelphia seems like a good place for Burress to get a second chance.