Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images
January 1, 2012
(From June 6, after Burress was released from prison)
In June, when Burress was released from prison after serving a two-year sentence for carrying a handgun in New York City, a number of Ravens fans were hopeful that Baltimore would give him a look. I did my best to throw cold water on that idea, listing five reasons I thought it would be a bad fit. I thought he was old, slow and likely to cost too much. In retrospect, I glossed over how effective Burress could have been as the primary red zone target for Joe Flacco. His numbers, I think, showed I was right when I said he couldn't be an elite receiver anymore, but he caught eight touchdowns. Torrey Smith, Lee Evans and Anquan Boldin caught 10 touchdowns between the three of them. Even though the Ravens went 12-4, I still think trouble in the red zone has the potential to be their Achilles' heel in the playoffs. Burress might not be a great player anymore, but he does know how to create separation from a defensive back when he gets around the goal line, and that would have been invaluable this year to Flacco. I shouldn't have been so dismissive.