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Burress gives Giants, Manning deep threat

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (March 18, 2005) -- Plaxico Burress didn't let an agent stand in the way of joining the New York Giants.

The free-agent wide receiver officially joined the Giants a week after rejecting an offer from the team. He then fired agent Michael Harrison and signed with Drew Rosenhaus, who renewed negotiations.

The speedy former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver met with the Giants last week and turned down a deal similar to the one he agreed March 17, causing New York to pull the offer from the table.

"In free agency, when a player leaves our facility, we withdraw the offer and go on to other things," Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi said in a statement.

But Burress liked the situation in New York enough to work out a deal. He now becomes Eli Manning's No. 1 receiver.

"Having the option to move around and be able to go in motion and create some one-on-one matchups, that's an opportunity that I've been waiting for," Burress said. "I believe I can go out and play at a level with some of the best receivers in this game."

Burress, 6-foot-5 and 226 pounds, will be an attractive target for Manning, who is heading into his first season as a starter. Burress had 35 catches for 698 yards and five touchdowns last season and is a proven deep threat.

"He is a guy who has an imposing physical presence. And because he does have the ability to be a long-ball threat, he is a guy that will force defenses to pay particular attention to where he is," coach Tom Coughlin said. "He's a big target. He can catch the ball with his hands above his head, which puts him well above most corners and most safeties."

Burress spent the past five seasons in Pittsburgh after the Steelers selected him in the first round of Michigan State in 2000.

Also, the Giants re-signed running back Mike Cloud, who joined the team in September after being released by the New England Patriots. Cloud is likely to again back up Tiki Barber.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

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