Tom Coughlin said he had a very nice conversation with Plaxico Burress Friday night. Said he was glad Plax came in to talk things over. Said he was glad to see him.
But when it came to making an offer, the Giants showed that they really didn't trust that Burress has indeed changed his ways regarding rules and authority figures. And that's probably part of the reason he's a Jet now.
Not that his appearance on the Giants was going to make or break that roster in the first place. They still have a game-breaking wide receiver in Hakeem Nicks, and a very serviceable pass-catcher in Mario Manningham. With Domenik Hixon healthy again, and if Steve Smith can come all the way back from knee surgery, they'll still be a dangerous receiving corps.
Burress would simply have given them another option, assuming his 34-year-old body rebounds from 21 months in stir.
The problem with him returning to the Giants -- and everybody knew it -- would be the trust factor. And, if we are to believe the Giants' reported offer to him, that trust simply wasn't there.
Jerry Reese was ready to have him back for $4 million, $1 million of which went to base salary, with no signing bonus. He'd get $500,000 for every game active, and $2.5 million in performance bonuses.
That means only his base salary was guaranteed, providing he made the roster. Everything else depended in part in his being a good citizen and staying out of legal trouble.
The Jets, who are exchanging one miscreant in Braylon Edwards for one of equal value, have reportedly guaranteed most of their one-year, $3.017 million deal. Rex Ryan, you see, doesn't bother himself a great deal with things like timetables, practice schedules, or target practice.
Either that, or Ryan believes a good jail stretch really does do wonders for a guy's personality.
Either way, Burress wound up in the right place. Signing with the Giants would have created a season-long public relations nightmare if he performed anywhere below his 2007 standard. Pittsburgh would have been retreading old ground for him.
The Jets keeps him in the big city, under the national spotlight, and with a coach whose trust lies in Burress' ability to help bolster a wide receiver chart that includes Jerricho Cotchery and Santonio Holmes.
The other stuff just doesn't matter in Florham Park.