Sources: NFL would let due process run course

Updated: December 7, 2008, 2:05 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Linebacker Antonio Pierce should be on the field for the rest of the season for the New York Giants.

Antonio Pierce

Pierce

If Pierce is indicted or charged with something -- which doesn't appear to be the case -- the NFL would let due process run its course before deciding whether disciplinary action is appropriate, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. That means Pierce likely would be active with the team throughout the rest of the regular season and playoffs.

After making them wait almost a week, Pierce talked to investigators Friday about the accidental shooting of Giants teammate Plaxico Burress.

A Giants source told Mortensen that any notion that he should be in trouble for his actions is "a joke."

Pierce notified team executive trainer Ronnie Barnes, whose only concern as the team's chief medical official was to ensure Burress was getting the best possible treatment. Once Barnes knew Burress was in proper health care, the team notified NFL security, which alerted the police.

Authorities provided no details of Pierce's meeting with police detectives and prosecutors at the Manhattan district attorney's office, and his attorney Michael Bachner did not immediately return telephone calls left by The Associated Press.

However, the New York Daily News reported that according to a law enforcement source, the meeting "was very productive."

"He was very forthright. He was very contrite. He said he didn't know in advance about the gun," the source told the Daily News.

As for Burress, his future with the Giants appears to be in question beyond the suspension the team handed down to him for the rest of the season.

"How many times does an individual get to put a whole organization through the stuff he's put us through," the Giants source told Mortensen. "And you only know part of it. It's mind boggling.

"The organization is guilty of only one thing: Helping somebody repeatedly who refuses to help himself."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.