by Mike Garafolo, USA TODAY Sports
Plaxico Burress vowed he would impress any team that worked him out. He did just that Tuesday, and he's a Pittsburgh Steeler again.
The veteran wide receiver signed a one-year contract with the first NFL team to employ him. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, announced the deal on Twitter.
Burress, 35, who was drafted in the first round by Pittsburgh in 2000, joins a battered roster that could again be without wideout Antonio Brown on Sunday when the Steelers visit the Cleveland Browns. Brown has been out since suffering a high-ankle sprain against the New York Giants this month.
Meanwhile, veteran Jerricho Cotchery suffered broken ribs in the Week 11 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, coach Mike Tomlin said.
Tomlin said Burress looked good in Tuesday's workout.
"Plaxico is in very good physical condition, from what I saw," Tomlin said.
In October, Burress told USA TODAY Sports he could catch a few touchdowns "off the couch." He'll get a chance to prove it.
Burress has been out of football since the New York Jets elected not to re-sign him after his 45-catch, eight-touchdown season in 2011. It was his first year back in the NFL since he accidentally shot himself in the thigh in November 2008, an event that helped derail the Giants' potential Super Bowl title defense and esulted in a 20-month prison term for Burress.
The Jets passed on the chance to sign Burress after Santonio Holmes was lost for the season with a foot injury.The team signed Jason Hill instead, to which Burress replied in an interview with USA TODAY Sports, "I don't know who that is."
He probably still doesn't: Hill was waived by the Jets Tuesday after appearing in only four games and making just two catches. He was cut because of a back injury he claims occurred during football activities, though the Jets gave him a non-football-injury designation. The team can expect a fight via a grievance from Hill.
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Burress, who worked out for the New England Patriots in August but didn't sign a contract, simply shrugged off Ryan's comment about his speed and claimed it's better than it was last season when he was just beginning to work himself back into football shape.
"It doesn't bother me they didn't pick up the phone and call me," Burress told USA TODAY Sports in October. "One thing's for sure: I know I'm going to score some touchdowns. ... You put me out there right now, and I go out there and dominate, have a couple of touchdowns or a hundred-yard game, then you just got to shake your head and smile and laugh."
Burress first left Pittsburgh as a free agent after the 2004 season but met with the team last summer before signing with the Jets. He caught 261 passes, including 22 for touchdowns, in five sometimes-controversial seasons in PIttsburgh.
Meanwhile, with Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich out with rib injuries, the Steelers opted to sign quarterback Brian Hoyer, who worked out with fellow free agent Mike Kafka on Tuesday.