LEBANON - JANUARY 14: New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress winks at a supporter as he arrives at the Lebanon County Courthouse January 14, 2009 in Lebanon, Pa. Burress is scheduled to appear in a civil trial in a dispute with an automobile dealer over what he owes in damages to a vehicle supplied to him by the dealership. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
Move over Lindsay Lohan, there's another celebrity convicted of bad behavior making their way out of the big house this month.
Plaxico Burress is expected to be released from the Oneida Correctional Center in the next two or three weeks after having time shaved off his two-year sentence for good behavior according to George Willis of the Post. From there he'll go to a work release program and, at some point, he'll surely attempt to salvage whatever might be left for him in the NFL. No surprise there. The surprise comes when you see who is talking positively about him.
"When he first went in, he was saying he thought he'd come back and be a good player, and I don't doubt that at all because he's that kind of athlete," Reese said. "But in this game it's hard to walk away for a couple of years and be the same person. But if anybody can do it, I think it's him. So you never say never."
A smart general manager isn't going to rule something out publicly before it is even a realistic possibility. Before even getting into the state of the Giants, though, the particulars about Burress make this hard to believe.
Let's assume Willis's source is correct and Burress is out of jail before the end of the month, it's still a two-year sentence and that work-release provision would have to take him well into the current NFL season. Plax would also likely face some kind of league punishment which could cut into the 2011 season as well. Even if he avoids the wrath of Roger Goodell, he would already be 34 years old and almost three years removed from his last on-field action when the 2011 season kicks off.
Is that something the Giants are going to need? Not based on what we saw last season. Steve Smith, Mario Manningham and Hakeem Nicks played very well and they've developed a strong rapport with Eli Manning. If they continue to progress, wide receiver is going to be the least of the team's worries. If they don't, the Giants are probably going to finish well out of the playoffs and that could mean a new coach and even a new general manager. Burress doesn't fit with what the Giants will be doing under either scenario.
It's fun to see the Giants as the New York football team linked to a knucklehead for a change. Hopefully the next time it happens the story will have stronger legs.