Should the N.Y. Giants re-sign Plaxico Burress? [Updated]
Ron Fritz, Baltimore Sun
Some team is going to give Plaxico Burress a second (or is it third?) chance, so why not the Giants? The wide receiver certainly owes the team after spending 20 months in prison and missing the last two seasons. He is on probation for two years on the gun charge stemming from the Manhattan nightclub incident in which he shot himself in the leg.
After being released from prison in early June he has reportedly spoken to kids about the dangers of guns. If he can use a return to New York as a platform to continue those warnings to kids, so much the better.
Burress will have to be on his best behavior while on probation, so it might be possible to resurrect his career if he’s concentrating on football and community service. If it’s with the Giants, maybe it can be a win-win situation for both.
There is only one way the Giants should be interested in Plaxico Burress, and that is if they can get him completely on their terms. That means if Plax steps out of line, they should be able to cut him without much consequence. That means if he no longer is very useful, they can put his belongings in a garbage bag and show him the door. That means they should not have to pay very much for him.
Remember when the Eagles first signed Michael Vick, it was a deal that carried minimal risk for the team. Between Burress’ history, his age and his layoff, he is an unknown. If Burress has learned a lesson about how he behaves, and if he still can play, Burress can be a great acquisition. But those are big, big ifs.
[Updated at 1:16 p.m.:
Sam Farmer, Los Angeles Times
As long as Burress and Tom Coughlin can work through their personality differences -– and they’re significant -– the Giants should re-sign Burress. Eli Manning certainly has to be pushing for it, as Burress always seemed to be his safety valve.
Yes, there was the gun incident for which Burress served his time. For the most part, however, any trouble Burress got into in New York had to do with things that clashed with the rigidity of Coughlin’s personality. Burress was a little too candid in his comments to the media, was sometimes late to meetings, and didn't seem to understand how doing something like wearing the wrong color of socks on game day might rub people the wrong way.
Does he deserve a second chance in his career? Yes. Should that be in New York? Why not?
Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant
We love stories of redemption, the happy ending when the troubled athlete puts his life back on track. And we'd love nothing more than to see Plaxico Burress step into the role by resuming his NFL career and lecturing on the dangers of firearms.
But he shouldn't be doing it in a Giants uniform. Sorry, but this is just a bad idea and both sides are asking for trouble.
Burress was a problem for Tom Coughlin long before the gun incident that sent him to prison. He clashed with his stern coach, made life difficult for quarterback Eli Manning and was at times more trouble than he was worth.
Just last month, Burress said in an interview with ESPN that he didn't like going to work for Coughlin and that he wants to go somewhere "refreshing." Does that sound like he's excited for a sequel?
Go somewhere refreshing, Plax. And go find another receiver, Mr. Coughlin. It's time to move on.]
Photo: Plaxico Burress takes a question during a talk to children with the Urban League of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Credit: Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press