If the Chicago Bears are looking for a veteran receiver to replace injured rookie Alshon Jeffery, Plaxico Burress said he would be honored to take their phone call.
"For me to get to a football town like Chicago and play with a group of guys like (Matt) Forte, Brian (Urlacher), (Brandon Marshall) and Jay (Cutler) would be an honor," Burress said by phone on Tuesday. "I just have to get the green light."
That green light has been conspicuously absent for Burress, who remains out of football despite catching 45 passes for 612 yards and eight touchdowns for the New York Jets last season. Considering that came after two years away from the game as he served time for an incident in which he accidentally shot himself in the leg in a New York City nightclub, some wonder why no team is taking a chance on the 6-foot-5 Burress improving on those numbers this season.
Is it the fact he's 35, or are there character issues?
"I don't think anybody saw this coming from my camp," Burress said. "I just wanted to get my legs under me (last season) and get back to being the explosive football player like before. People look at me being 35 and say I can't do some of the things I was able to do, but I did that last year after being off 30 months.
"It's a mystery to me and everybody else. But I remain optimistic."
Some thought the Jets might call after a season-ending injury to Santonio Holmes and their struggles on offense. Coach Rex Ryan, who recently praised Burress' character, lamented some dropped passes after Monday's loss to the Houston Texans. But the Jets have not called.
"They want to go younger," Burress said. "That's what it looks like this league is becoming; all the veterans are sitting on the sidelines watching from home.
"All it will take is a coach or GM to believe in me. I just need one. I think teams would be very happy with what I bring to the locker room and the field."
Will that one GM be the Bears' Phil Emery? Jeffery suffered a fracture in his right hand during Sunday's win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, a source told ESPNChicago.com's Jeff Dickerson.
"You just look at what they already have in place," Burress said. "Jay's been one of my favorite quarterbacks for some time now.
"And I trained this whole offseason with Forte in South Florida. You see a guy like him doing the things he's able to do, watch the guy's work ethic, and it's incredible. And Brandon is one of the top five receivers in football. You talk about adding me to that offense, and teams won't know who to guard in the red zone. It's about creating match-up problems."
Burress, who is keeping in shape, said he planned to talk to his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, later Tuesday and would express his interest in the Bears.
"I'm going to tell him if an opportunity in Chicago presents itself, I want to go now," Burress said. "I just want to go out and play."