It's been a rough offseason for Plaxico Burress.
Two receivers who didn't play a single snap of football last year—Randy Moss and Terrell Owens—signed with teams before preseason play began. As the two future Hall of Famers prepare for life with the 49ers and Seahawks respectively, Burress still sits patiently, waiting for a team to call him.
After finishing up a two-year prison sentence for the infamous nightclub incident, Burress signed a one-year deal with the New York Jets last season and had, for what it's worth, an impressive year (45 catches, 612 yards, eight touchdowns).
His days as a No. 1 option as a receiver are all but gone, but he can still be a valuable asset in the red zone and the vertical attack.
Enter the Dallas Cowboys.
Who's going to be the third option for Tony Romo to throw the ball to?
Enter, possibly, Plaxico Burress.
This preseason will more than likely answer those questions in some capacity. With Miles Austin out with a hamstring injury and Dez Bryant still a large unknown on where his head's at, the plethora of young receivers that the Cowboys have are going to have to prove they belong on the field with one of the more talented offenses in the league.
However, hours later, Watkins got the word from the man himself, owner and General Manager Jerry Jones, that he's content with the current core of young guys fighting to be the third guy.
"We haven't even discussed that internally at all," Jones said. "It's not been discussed at any level in our organization one way or the other. We're going to go to war with, so to speak, or go into the season with question marks at the third receiver, there's no doubts, no matter who it is."
So, there's that.
Throughout training camp, several names have come up as possible candidates: Dwayne Harris, Andre Holmes, Raymond Radway, Danny Coale, Cole Beasley and the name that comes up every year around this time, Kevin Ogletree.
If the Cowboys can't find a real solution with those six names, then how much more confident is management in their young guys? Burress should only be a last resort signing, but if nobody shows any promise, Dallas better hope he's available by the third preseason game, at the latest.
Coale and Beasley are the two guys that have been the most impressive in camp in terms of the unknown, and Harris, Radway and Holmes are still trying to find their way. Ogletree has had another suspect camp for another season (go figure) and one can wonder how much longer this once-promising receiver will stay relevant.
The first game against the Raiders will tell a lot about where this offense is at, especially the receivers, and it'll start with whoever gets the start on the first team for the one and only drive they'll be on the field.
If expectations aren't met by the second game, Rosenhaus should tell Plaxico to keep the phone near him.
Jerry Jones may be calling soon, unless he sees something that we don't.
Despite their scorching-hot offseason in which they've heavily bolstered their team and affected the balance of power in the West, the Los Angeles Lakers are far from shoo-ins to win the NBA Finals.
In case you missed it, the Lakers pulled one of the blockbuster moves of the 21st century, first reported by ESPN news services.
A four-team trade that would send Dwight Howard to the Los Angeles Lakers is complete, multiple sources told ESPN on Thursday night.
A source with direct knowledge of the talks told ESPN.com's Marc Stein the Lakers will receive Howard, the Denver Nuggets will acquire Andre Iguodala, the 76ers will receive Andrew Bynumand Jason Richardson, and the Magic will get Arron Afflalo, Al Harrington, Nikola Vucevic and one protected future first-round pick from each of the other three teams.
It's not that this deal doesn't benefit the Lakers incredibly—because it does. It just doesn't put them head and shoulders above any of the elite teams in this league.
The Lakers struggled for what seems like years toying with trade talks for Howard, assuring that they could make a straight-up Howard-for-Bynum deal. Essentially, they pretty much got it. Their starting five could go down as one of the most recognizable ones in NBA history.
But are we forgetting about the reigning champion Miami Heat, who won in convincing fashion and boast three of the 10 best players in this league?
What about L.A.'s competition in the West? Oklahoma City can handle size up front with Serge Ibaka, who has the size and defensive prowess to match up to Howard. They also have depth at the position with K-Perk (Kendrick Perkins) and Nick Collison, among others. The Thunder can also top any conference opponent (including the Lakers) in backcourt star power.
You never know what could happen with Howard in L.A. and with a lot of players who need their shots. It could end up taking some time to work, just like it did in Miami.
Some of us (myself included) were foolish to believe that LeBron James and Chris Bosh would help a 2011 Heat team tear through the league, and it'd be just as foolish to believe that this L.A. team is a lock for the 2012 title.