Giants Have to Assume They Won't Have Plaxico

With three weeks until the draft, Giants G.M. Jerry Reese must follow no-Plax plan.

The 10 minutes Plaxico Burress spent inside a Manhattan courtroom on Tuesday morning didn't offer any hints about his ultimate fate. The case was adjourned until June 15th, but lawyers from both sides are expected to keep working toward a plea deal. Burress' side wants to avoid jail, or get a minimal sentence, while political pressure makes it difficult for prosecutors to accept such a compromise.

For Giants G.M. Jerry Reese, it doesn't much matter either way. Time and again, Reese has said that the team is prepared to go forward with or without Burress. Today marks the day where they have to go forward without him, or, more precisely, with the assumption that they won't have him.

A little more than five months remain before the start of the 2009 season, not much time for Burress to get all of his legal issues and potential jail sentence out of the way. More pressing is the Draft, which is less than a month away, time which can easily fly by without any agreement between Burress and prosecutors.

The Giants can't let those two days pass by without addressing the gaping hole in their passing game. Luckily for them they're in very good position to attack the problem. The Jeremy Shockey trade landed them extra picks in the second and fifth rounds, while the NFL awarded them a compensatory third rounder. They can't trade the latter pick, but it increases their flexibility when it comes to moving up for a player they want and/or trading for a veteran who has fallen out of favor with their current club.

Reese hasn't given any hint as to which of those routes he prefers, but either one will help make the Giants a better team. They don't have many other holes, so they can afford to be risky and make a deal that renders Burress' availability much less significant.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to and in addition to his duties for

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