NEW YORK - DECEMBER 1: Wide receiver Plaxico Burress of the New York Giants is led to a squad car for transport to his arraignment outside the NYPD 17th Precinct December 1, 2008 in New York City. Burress, who is expected to face a charge of criminal possession of a weapon, was released from the hospital yesterday after accidentally shooting himself in the right thigh at a nightclub in Manhattan on the night of November 28. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Monday, former Giants wideout and Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress was formally indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment. And this all stems from an incident where Plax ended up shooting HIMSELF. He didn’t even get to plug the club DJ. And if you’ve ever met a club DJ, you know there is no subset of people on Earth in more dire need of a hot slug of lead lodged in their digestive cavity.
Burress is getting the book thrown at him as part New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s crackdown on guns. This is a pity. If Plaxico lived in Texas, this never would have been a problem for him. Who knew there was such a thing as “criminal” possession of a weapon? Many people would call Plaxico an idiot. I say he could have potentially used his sweet, sweet revolver to bust up any number of potentially violent romantic misunderstandings in the club john.
Anyway, Burress’s trial on gun charges is likely to begin sometime in February or March of 2010. For now, that leaves his football career in veritable limbo. He’s got a full NFL season between now and his trial. But there’s a very good possibility that, given the charges, commissioner Goodell will elect to suspend Burress indefinitely under the League’s personal conduct policy. That would leave him out for the season and unavailable to teams in need of a very large pass catcher who sometimes makes incredible plays, and sometimes forgets to turn for the pass because there was something shiny in the stands. Hey, he’s just like Roy Williams!
But let’s be serious about this Burress situation for a second. He’s already facing a maximum of 15 years in jail. All for shooting himself, which seems a touch severe. Should he get a sentence of, say, three years, he’ll likely never work in the NFL again and will be bankrupt by the time he’s sprung. Does he really deserve to be suspended for an entire year on top of that, given that he hasn’t been found guilty of anything yet? Does he really deserve to lose the only NFL season he may have left?
I’d argue he at least deserves a small chance to play this season. Which team could use him the most? Well, let’s say Williams ends up just as ineffective this season as he was last season. And let’s say Miles Austin gets hurt again. I’m not supposing these things. I’m saying those things are totally gonna happen. What then? Might the Double J be tempted to rent out this troubled but wildly talented star? I think Burress is a far better fit for the Cowboys than T.O. ever was. Burress is more than happy to be a follower, and let the quarterback lead the team. He just may never go to team meetings, that’s all.
Call it a thousand to one shot. Burress is likely banished from the NFL for a good long time. Too bad, because he’d make a finer No. 1 wideout than Williams ever will.