“It’s an exciting time for me being a free agent, having the opportunity to be in a place where I want to be and Philadelphia is obviously one of those places,” Burress said in a radio interview with 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia. “Nothing else would make me happier.”
Burress, 34, grew up in Norfolk, Virginia, and played high school football against Vick, whose hometown of Newport News was less than an hour away. The two remain close, speaking by phone at least once a week, Burress said.
The players share a bond beyond football, both having returned to the National Football League after missing two seasons while serving time in prison.
Vick, 31, spent 18 months in a federal prison for his role in an interstate dogfighting ring and in 2010 was named the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year with the Eagles. Burress spent 20 months in jail on a weapons charge after shooting himself in the leg while a member of the New York Giants and returned last season to catch eight touchdowns for the Jets, tied for the team lead.
“For us to get together and be able to play together on a professional football team, especially coming from where we come from and the things we’ve been through, I think it would really be a special deal,” Burress said. “I really believe that he can bring a championship to Philadelphia and I would love to be a part of that.”
Burress said Jets’ management had “left the door open” on whether he wanted to return to New York. Burress caught 45 passes for 612 yards last season, when he said it took him until Week 6 or 7 to get back into game shape after missing two seasons, and then minicamp during the NFL lockout and training camp because of an ankle injury.
“Going into this year I’ll be a lot stronger and get back to doing some of the things that I know I can do,” said Burress, who caught the winning touchdown pass in the Giants’ Super Bowl victory after the 2007 season.
The 6-foot-5 Burress, who has 63 career touchdown receptions, said he wants to provide a big target near the end zone for the Eagles, whose offense features All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy and Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson in addition to Vick. Burress said the Eagles were interested in signing him last season before he joined the Jets.
“Coming to Philadelphia and instituting myself into that offense, it just adds a unique dynamic to what’s already in place,” Burress said. “We’ll see what happens.”
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