Amidst the Jay Cutler hoopla, two more big names ended up on the NFL’s transactions wire. The Giants cut embattled receiver Plaxico Burress, while the Bears signed Orlando Pace to help protect Cutler. Here are thoughts on both moves; you can see how the Pace addition and the Burress subtraction compare to respective moves in the updated cutbacks and free-agency review relativity posts.
Pace has battled injuries in recent years, but he stayed on the field for most of last season for the Rams. But St. Louis lurched into full rebuilding mode, and so Pace was cut. He lands in Chicago, where he will likely start at left tackle unless ’08 first-rounder Chris Williams has taken 2 or 3 quantum leaps forward. With Pace, Williams, and Kevin Shaffer now on board, the Bears should be OK at tackle this year even given the injury histories of all three guys. It makes sense for the Bears to spend on Pace since so much is riding on Cutler’s performance and thus his protection.
Burress delivered on his big salary with the Giants until last year, when he was suspended for chronic disregard for team meetings and then shut down following his hyper-publicized gun incident. He can still play at a high level, but his problems make his ’09 availability a question. Still, some team will take a flier – for 2010 if not next season.