Agent: Plaxico Burress will play in 2011
Michael Vick authored one of the NFL's best comeback stories this year, excelling on the football field after spending time in prison. Plaxico Burress' agent says his client wants to write his own ticket back into the league.
Burress, the former New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers receiver who was sentenced to two years in prison on a gun charge, is scheduled to be released June 6 if he receives credited time for good behavior.
Agent Drew Rosenhaus predicted Wednesday that his client will be playing in the NFL again during the 2011 season.
"I am not a big advocate of making predictions on teams because so much can change, but I am not afraid to make the following prediction: Plaxico Burress will be playing in 2011," Rosenhaus said on Showtime's "Inside the NFL." "And he will play very well. And it will be a very happy ending to a very tough, tough story for him."
In November, Rosenhaus told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that two teams have stayed in contact with him about the availability of Burress while the receiver finishes his prison sentence.
Burress, who caught the winning touchdown for the Giants over the New England Patriots in the final minute of Super Bowl XLII, will be 34 when next season begins, and he hasn't played since the 2008 season. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has ruled that Burress would be reinstated and eligible to sign with a team upon completing his sentence.
Giants general manager Jerry Reese told the YES Network on Monday that his team will contact Burress once he is released. The Baltimore Ravens also have said they would consider Burress.
"Well, you know my standard answer to that. We investigate everything and we'll definitely investigate that," Reese said. "But you know Plax, when he gets home I think the first thing he'll want to do is just spend time with his family, and we'll be in contact at the appropriate time. So we'll just let that unfold."
"Absolutely, we will not rule that out," Reese added.
Several of Burress' former teammates who are still on the Giants have said they would welcome the receiver back. Running back Brandon Jacobs, one of Burress' close friends, has worn a "Free Plaxico" shirt on several occasions during interviews with the media. The Giants have Hakeem Nicks, Steve Smith and Mario Manningham at wide receiver, but Smith's contract is up. The former Pro Bowl receiver also is facing a lengthy rehab after undergoing microfracture knee surgery in December.
Former Giants quarterback Phil Simms, an analyst on "Inside the NFL," said he doesn't believe Burress should try to return to the team.
"I don't think he'll come back to the Giants," Simms said, according to the New York Post. "One, they are loaded at the receiver position. And I think it might be best for him to move on and connect with the coach or the receivers coach that he can have a special relationship with and further his career along."
Burress pleaded guilty in 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
The case began in November 2008, when Burress went to the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan with a .40-caliber gun tucked into the waistband of his track pants. He later said he was concerned for his safety because a teammate had been held up at gunpoint days before.
The weapon slipped down Burress' leg and fired, injuring his right thigh. Prosecutors said the bullet narrowly missed a security guard.
The gun wasn't licensed in New York or New Jersey, where Burress was living, and his Florida concealed-weapons permit had expired. He also failed to report the incident to authorities.
Burress has had a satisfactory record in prison, with one "misbehavior report" that cost him a week of phone privileges and 30 days of recreation privileges, New York prison system spokeswoman Linda Foglia said in August, when he was denied a work-release request.
A corrections officer said Burress had lied in November 2009 about having permission to use the phone to call his lawyer at a time when calls were not permitted, the report shows.
Burress also has completed an anger management program behind bars, Foglia said.
Information from ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, ESPNNewYork.com's Ohm Youngmisuk and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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