Plaxico Still a Giant?

Last Updated: January 14th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor)

Plexico Burress On November, 28th New York Giants superstar wide receiver Plaxico Burress accidentally shot himself in the leg while carrying a concealed weapon. At the time, the New York Giants were 10-1 on the field clearly the best team in the NFC and perhaps the entire NFL. However when Burress troubles began, so did the Giants troubles on the field. Plax caught the game winning touchdown in last Year’s Super Bowl and was a huge threat for the New York offense. When Burress issues kept him off the field, the New York Giants air assault vanished. The Giants closed out the season losing 4 of their last 6 games without Burress. QB Eli Manning only averaged 180 yards per game the rest of the season and the New York offense that had been so dominant become average at best. Plaxico Burress could be the blame in the Giants downfall, but then again it could be the Giants were simply not as good as many may have assumed. Plaxico Burress was not having an exceptional year only catching 35 passes for 454 yards, but his off the field issues definitely seemed to affect the Giants in the long run.

Burress was later convicted of two felony charges for a concealed weapon and criminal weapon charge with the initial possibility of serving up to 7 years in prison. Burress later would post a $100,000 dollar bond and walked out of jail until his next hearing in late March. However, the New York Giants suspended their star wide receiver for the remainder of the season. The popular belief quickly became clear that it would be unlikely if Plaxico ever stepped on the football field wearing a Giants jersey with some rumors claiming he would never play in the NFL again. However Burress is likely going to get the opportunity to play football again when that will be is the big question, but most people doubt that it will be for the Giants. After all, this is not the first time Plaxico has been in off the field issues. Even most recently new legal troubles have submerged; there are now reports that have been released with a new law suit against Burress in the last few days. Apparently, Burress agreed to appear in some publicity events for a 2004 Chevrolet Avalanche for a car dealer. Not only did Burress not appear for those events, but the car was impounded by police while a friend had the car. The car had damages and was never returned to the original owner. Burress is being sued for the value of the car.

The question now is if and where will Plaxico will play next season? Monday a statement came out describing how the Giants General Management declared how valuable Burress is to the team and how much they missed him during the playoffs. The statement also stated the if Burress could avoid prison time and get cleared to play next season that the Giants would still be interested in keeping him on the team. Plaxico still has the chance to receive prison time depending on how the court rules on his weapons charges on March 31st. It will be an interesting ruling with big implications. If Burress does escape without having to do time like so many popular names do, the focus will then go back to the Giants and what they decide to do with their star wide out.

The Giants offense with Burress averaged near an NFL best 29.9 points per game. However after the Burress incident, the Giants only averaged 18 points per game to close the season. Clearly that is no coincidence considering all the attention defense show when Plaxico lines up on offense. While his numbers were down this season, the primary reason for that was teams doubled down on Burress and forced the offense to beat them in other ways. Something the Giants were doing well. Once Burress left the passing game went as well. New York then focused on the running game to carry them the rest of the season. Derrick Ward and Brandon Jacobs performed well both eclipsing the 1,000 yard barrier on the season. The problem is that New York became one dimensional. Defenses loaded the box to stop the run and the passing offense could never capitalize like it could when Burress was in the lineup.

There is a ton of different ways you could look at Plaxico’s situation and it is interesting to hear what the public’s opinions are as well. Does Burress deserve jail time considering he knew he was breaking the law by carrying a handgun? Or you could say he is a star football player that carried a handgun for protection and all this is a situation gone bad. The Giants organization is in a no win situation. If they do not keep their star receiver, then they will be criticized tremendously for turning loose one of the biggest factors of their potent offense. If they keep Burress on the team, they will still be criticized for taking it lightly and if any more situations were to arise then it hurts the Giants reputation that much more. How do the Giants fans feel about this? Do you want your playmaker back on offense for 2009 or do you ship him away given he gets cleared to play? I would love to hear how the readers feel on this subject that will consistently make headlines during the off-season.

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Posted in NFL Football - Last Updated on Wednesday, January 14th, 2009 @ 1:09 pm (EST)
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