Burress joins Jets for training camp
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — Plaxico Burress realizes he's not 25 anymore. Or even 31 — the age he was when he last played in the NFL.
None of that matters to the new Jets wide receiver. And, he's eager to show why no one else should worry about it, either.
"I would say that when I step on this field Thursday or Friday, I'll look 25," Burress said as the Jets opened training camp Monday. "I feel that good physically."
Burress, who turns 34 on Aug. 12, was back on an NFL field — but he can't practice just yet — for the first time since being released from prison after serving 20 months on a gun charge. The Jets signed him Sunday to a one-year deal, hoping he can revive his career the way Michael Vick has with the Eagles.
Vick missed two seasons while serving prison time for his involvement in a dogfighting ring before returning to football in 2009. He was eased back into things by the Eagles before taking over as the starting quarterback last year and capping a terrific, highlight-filled season by being selected the AP's Comeback Player of the Year.
"He's been a good friend of mine for a long time," Burress said. "For him to come back at that elite level, it just shows a lot about him and his drive and his makeup. I'm just happy for him, and if it wasn't for maybe him going through what he went through, maybe I wouldn't be here today."
Burress is a former Super Bowl star with the Giants. He caught the winning touchdown pass in the upset of the unbeaten New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl before his career derailed after he accidentally shot himself in a New York nightclub later that year.
After being released from prison, Burress worked out near his home in South Florida with several NFL quarterbacks including Matthew Stafford, Brady Quinn, Drew Stanton and Byron Leftwich. He worked on his route running and pass catching, and that experience gives him the confidence he can be a star wide receiver in the NFL again.
"It just feels like I never left," he said. "I do expect some rust at some point, but I feel great and I'm healthy, which I haven't been in a long, long time. And I think that's going to be the difference in me getting back to where I want to be."
Quarterback Mark Sanchez, who was one of several teammates who chatted on the sideline with Burress during the morning walkthrough and afternoon practice, has already been impressed with what he has seen.
"He's picking up the offense very quickly, which is no surprise," Sanchez said.
Burress and every other newly signed free agent in the league can't practice until the union ratifies the labor agreement with the owners.
Former Oregon State and Arizona Cardinals quarterback Derek Anderson has made it to the practice field with the Carolina Panthers, but just to watch.
Carolina coach Ron Rivera says the team met with Anderson on Monday and is putting the final touches on a deal.
Anderson would be the most experienced of Carolina's quarterbacks. The other three are No. 1 overall pick Cam Newton and second-year quarterbacks Jimmy Clausen and Tony Pike. Anderson was seen on the practice field Monday night, standing beside all three quarterbacks.
The 28-year-old Anderson was released by the Cardinals last week. He previously played for Cleveland under offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, who currently runs the Panthers' offense. Rivera says Anderson wouldn't be able to practice with the team until Thursday because of the collective bargaining rule regarding player signings.
If the Eagles want to trade him, that's fine with Asante Samuel.
He'll be glad to take all his touchdowns and interceptions to another NFL team.
"If they're tired of my big-play-making ability, maybe they'll ship me out," Samuel said. "Maybe they'll keep me. I don't know. Who knows?"
Samuel reported on Monday morning after missing the first four days of Eagles training camp with an excused, undisclosed personal matter.
During those four days, the Eagles' cornerback position grew very crowded.
The Eagles acquired Pro Bowl CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie from the Cardinals in the Kevin Kolb trade and signed another Pro Bowler, Nnamdi Asomugha, as a free agent.
Those moves left Samuel wondering exactly where he fits in.
"I want to be where I'm wanted," Samuel said. "If I'm wanted here, then here. If I'm not appreciated here, then life goes on, and I move on."
Samuel has 42 interceptions in eight seasons, including an NFL-leading nine in 2009 and an NFC-best seven in just 11 games last year.
A person familiar with the deal says running back Ahmad Bradshaw is returning to the New York Giants.
The free agent agreed to contract terms with the Giants on Monday, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced.
Contract terms are not immediately available.
Bradshaw took over the as Giants' starting halfback last season and rushed for 1,235 yards and eight touchdowns. He had problems with fumbles, and Brandon Jacobs started the next five games. Bradshaw started the season finale against Washington.
Jason Taylor seeks a few more sacks, and he plans to get them with the Miami Dolphins.
The NFL's active career sacks leader, preparing for his 15th season, signed Monday with the Dolphins. He became a free agent when the New York Jets released him in March.
Taylor, who turns 37 on Sept. 1, spent his first 11 seasons with the Dolphins and has kept a home in South Florida. He played for Washington in 2008, rejoined the Dolphins in 2009 and played last year for their biggest rivals, the Jets.
The six-time Pro Bowler holds Dolphins career records for sacks (124), opponents' fumble recoveries (27), fumble returns for touchdowns (6), defensive touchdowns (9) and interceptions by a defensive lineman (7). His best season was in 2006, when he was the NFL defensive player of the year.
The Oakland Raiders have agreed to a five-year, $48 million contract with linebacker Kamerion Wimbley.
Wimbley had been set to play for the $11.3 million franchise tag tender before agreeing to the long-term deal Monday.
Wimbley will be guaranteed $29 million in the deal, while the Raiders get additional room under the salary cap.