Five years ago there were two WRs that were putting up great numbers for their teams.  Many teams would’ve loved to have them catching balls, making plays and wearing their colors.  Heck, some were starting to consider these guys as Hall of Fame potentials…my how times have changed.
    After the 2007-08 season, Plaxico Burress was celebrating his second Super Bowl victory after making the game-winning TD catch to knock off the undefeated New England Patriots in the biggest David vs. Goliath Super Bowl in NFL history.  It wasn’t like that’s the only thing Plax did that season.  He played in all 16 games, made 70 catches (29th in the League), had 1,025 yards (21st), had 14.6 yards per catch, 12 TDs (5th) & averaged 64.1 yards per game.  He was a tremendous redzone target and a great possession receiver to have on your team.
    As for the other guy, Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson had a great year pointing out and picking on CBs that were going to be defending him.  In his season with the Bengals, #85 played in all 16 games, had 93 catches (12th in the League), 1,440 yards (3rd), 15.5 yards per catch, 8 TDs (15th) & averaged 90 yards per game.  He was getting fined from the League for excessive celebrations in the endzone, calling out people in press conferences & was backing up what he was saying.  Some people liked him, some people hated him, but no matter what you felt about him as a person, you probably wanted him running routes for your team.
    After some sand has passed through the hourglass, we look at both of these WRs five years later and the wheels have come off the wagon for these guys. Plax shot himself in the foot, served some time in jail and played with the prima donnas of the NFL. Even though he had a decent season, it was realized that he isn’t a #2 WR anymore.  He’s not fleet of foot and would only be a third down/redzone WR for most teams.  A lot of teams would like to have a guy that is more versatile than that.  Plax has tried out with the Cowboys, the Patriots and a couple other teams, but no one has committed yet.
    As for Ochocinco, everyone thought he would have a monster year with the Patriots because of how Belicheck uses his players… instead Chad didn’t learn the playbook, dropped some passes and only had 15 catches for the AFC Champs.  I will give Chad one thing, he didn’t act a fool or talk out of turn last season.  Over the last month, Chad found his way back home to Miami and was going to be the best WR on the team by a long shot.  Lots of scouts, even former NFL great and future Hall of Famer Cris Carter, said that Chad looked better than he has in the last few years.  He looked like he was in shape, he was getting off the line quickly, looked good in the bump & run, looked to have his swagger back and was thought that he could have a good season in South Beach… then there was (an alleged) head butt.  According to reports, Ocho got into it with his fiance (who also used to be the fiance of ex-NBA player Antoine Walker), the cops were called, he said-she said, Chad got arrested and his contract was terminated by the Dolphins.  Now what?
    As for Plax, I think he will have to get on a team that needs exactly what he can bring, which might not be a team that’s a playoff contender (probably not what he’s going to want to do).  I look for a team that has a hard time scoring TDs in the redzone and might be a little shallow at WR.  Teams that need to fill those needs are: St. Louis, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Minnesota, Tennessee, Jacksonville & Oakland.  Only one of those teams were .500 last year and could possibly make the playoffs.  St. Louis has a redzone threat in Danario Alexander, but he is too often injured.  Oakland has some decent WRs, but a guy like Plax might be perfect to have for Carson Palmer.  As for the other teams, they have young QBs and are light at the WR position.  A guy like Plax could give them a big target to pass to and help give them confidence to complete passes on third down and throughout the game.  If Plax is open to joining a rebuilding team, those could be his options.
    Ochocinco, on the other hand, has to find a team that needs a WR and doesn’t have a problem taking on his drama and mouth.  There are some teams that could do that…problem is, he might have missed the boat on a couple of them.  I could see these teams needing his production and taking a chance with his backage: New York Jets, Seattle, Buffalo, Oakland, Dallas & Jacksonville.  Seattle probably won’t because they’ve signed T.O. & have Braylon Edwards to mix with Doug Baldwin, but Pete would definitely take him had he not already signed T.O.  Dallas needs another solid WR and Jerry likes guys that bring attention to the star.  Chad can definitely do that (remember, they had T.O. five years ago).  Oakland has fallen in love with those guys in the past, but with Al no longer with us, I don’t know if they would go down that road now.  Buffalo would like the combo of Stevie Johnson & Chad, but that might be too much drama for Chan Gailey to handle.  Jacksonville is desperate for a WR to catch the ball and they might take him out of necessity.  But the team that I can see signing him, and everyone can see this from a mile away, is NYJ.  Why not bring more big mouths to the Jets locker room?  Granted, they are in need of another good WR since the second best one they have is Antonio Cromartie…just ask him.  I think Chad would like the atmosphere & Rex would love Chad.  I failed to mention a few teams that are in need of more WR help like Tennessee, Minnesota, Arizona and Cleveland, but with some of their situations (either young QBs or new coaches) they might not want to risk bringing in someone as combustible as Ochocinco.

Maybe some of these teams take the risk, maybe they don’t.  If nothing else, as the pre-season moves into the regular season and teams start losing key players, guys like Plax and Ocho will be on someone’s back-up list.  The only thing keeping these guys from making a team then would be if they can keep in shape until that time comes…and turn back the clock just a little.