Former Super Bowl champion Plaxico Burress was released after serving 21 months in a New York prison for an illegal gun possession conviction. The former New York Giants receiver walked out of Oneida Correctional Facility on June 6, meeting up with his family and friends for the first time since being sentenced in September 2009; his original 2-year sentence was shortened by three months due to good behavior.
“I just want to thank God for bringing me through one of the most trying times in my life,” Burress told reporters outside of theTurning Stone Resort & Casino, nearby the jail facility, where he reunited with his family. “It’s a beautiful day. It’s a beautiful day to be reunited with my family. I want to go home and spend some quality time with them.”
Burress, 33, was charged for criminal gun possession after accidentally shooting himself with his own pistol in the New York City nightclub in November 2008. He had just caught the game-winning touchdown for the Giants in the Super Bowl in February 2008.
Burress was immediately suspended by the Giants and the NFL, but wasn’t convicted until a year later. He requested work release in 2010, but was denied. He’ll now spend the next two years out on parole, where he’ll be tested for substance abuse and required to work a job. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, claims his client is in good shape and ready to reenter the NFL this coming season.
“He’s been very strong,” Rosenhaus told reporters. “He did a lot better than I would have. No question worked out, maintained a very positive attitude, always driven to get back to the NFL, be with his family again. As well as you could for 21 months of incarceration. Running, staying in shape, sprints, jogging, lifting weights, as much as you can do in a facility like this.”
Many football pundits have reported that the Giants aren’t interested in resigning Burress now that he is released from jail, but Rosenhaus said he “wouldn’t rule out any team.”
“I wouldn’t rule out the Giants, I wouldn’t rule out any club,” Rosenhaus told reporters.
“I really won’t talk about specific teams because I don’t want to hurt his position… We are going to be open to all 32 teams, and ultimately this will be Plax’s decision, not mine. I am here to help him pick the best spot and get the very best contract. And that is what we will do.”
Many of Plaxico’s peers, including Giants pro bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora, believe he’ll return as an instant impact player,
“I think he’ll be able to make an impact immediately,” Umenyiora told ESPN. “A guy with that kind of physical ability and that kind of talent … All you have to do is throw him the ball and he’ll be able to make the same kind of plays he was able to make before.”
Burress has recorded 505 receptions, 7, 845 receiving yards and 55 touchdowns throughout his NFL career. He’s best known for catching the touchdown that decided the 2008 upset victory for the Giants over the New England Patriots, ruining the Patriots’ chance at a perfect 19-0 season.