Giants sign Burress

Former Steelers' star gets $25 million deal

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Free-agent wide receiver Plaxico Burress reached an agreement with the New York Giants on a six-year, $25 million contract yesterday, a football source said.

The deal includes an $8 million signing bonus, the source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The agreement comes a week after the Giants said they were no longer interested in signing the speedy former Steelers receiver, and just days after Burress switched agents.

Burress met with the Giants eight days ago and rejected an offer that was almost the same as the one he agreed to yesterday. He then fired agent Michael Harrison and signed with Drew Rosenhaus.

Burress had also visited with the Minnesota Vikings and other teams.

Rosenhaus was not immediately available for comment.

Burress, who spent the last five seasons with the Steelers, brings considerable size and big-play ability to a Giants offense that sorely needs both attributes in their offense.

At 6-feet-5 and 226 pounds, Burress has the size and speed to get down the field and catch the fade pattern in the end zone, which no doubt is attractive to Eli Manning heading into his first full season as a starter.

Burress had 35 catches for 698 yards and five touchdowns last season. His finest season was in 2002, when he had 78 catches.

The Giants went through most of last season without a deep threat. Tim Carter was lost early in the season with a hip injury and rookie Jamaar Taylor showed flashes coming back from knee surgery in college.

Starting receivers Amani Toomer and Ike Hilliard had subpar seasons, failing to catch a touchdown pass.

Toomer is coming off a hamstring injury that bothered him for most of the season, and Hilliard was released yesterday after never fulfilling the promise he had when the Giants drafted him seventh overall out of Florida in 1997.

The Giants have been one of the most active teams in free agency, signing linebacker Antonio Pierce from Washington for $26 million and giving Jets tackle Kareem McKenzie $37.75 million to protect Manning.


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