After New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress shot himself in the leg in a nightclub in November 2008, costing him millions of dollars and earning him a two-year prison sentence, one might have assumed that we wouldn't be reading about another prominent athlete illegally toting a firearm anytime soon.
As Plaxico Burress discovered this afternoon, Hail Mary passes are about as successful in court as they are on the field. As expected, the former New York Giants wide receiver was indicted today on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and one count of reckless endangerment in the second degree. His trial is scheduled for Sept. 23, although it is possible that prosecutors and Burress' attorney, Benjamin Brafman, could work out a plea deal prior to that date.
Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress was indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on weapons charges stemming from an incident last November in which Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh at a New York nightclub, prosecutors announced Monday.
Plaxico Burress hopes an unusual legal strategy will keep him out of prison. On Wednesday, the former New York Giants wide receiver testified before a Manhattan grand jury on the charges he faces for criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. The charges, which carry a minimum three-and-a half year prison sentence, stem from Burress accidentally shooting himself in Manhattan's Latin Quarter Club last November. Burress' counsel, Benjamin Brafman, and prosecutors have reportedly been unable to strike a plea deal, with Burress willing to serve one year behind bars and prosecutors demanding two. For a 31-year-old wide receiver, the difference between one and two years in prison could be worth millions of dollars.
Plaxico Burress' representatives believe that Monday's adjournment of their client's trial until Sept. 23 clears the way for the 31-year-old free agent to sign with an NFL team. They are particularly optimistic that teams will be interested because the trial may be adjourned again until after the 2009 season.
The news that Plaxico Burress won his recent grievance hearing against the New York Giants over unpaid bonus money has already been declared a victory by new NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith. That's funny, because as a recently retired player and member of the union, it doesn't really feel like one to me.
Every so often the universe conspires to produce a rare and notable event, like a solar eclipse or a perfect rainbow, that simply cannot pass without comment. It is in that spirit we should pause to examine the remarkable confluence of stupidity within the sports galaxy in recent days. We have seen athletes get into hot water with handguns before, goodness knows. We have seen them squabble with their coaches and we have seen them repeatedly be forgiven after off-the-field misdeeds. But rarely, if ever, have we seen three athletes with such issues dominate the headlines all at the same time, as Plaxico Burress, Stephon Marbury and Adam "Pacman" Jones are doing. Together, they form the Halley's Comet of dumb decisions. Look closely while you can, for such a trifecta of foolishness may not pass this way again in our lifetimes -- if we are lucky.
A day after New York Giants receiver Plaxico Burress was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, the public's interest in his legal woes has only grown. Why do we care so much about Burress' alleged crime -- a crime of mere possession for which no one but Burress was hurt -- and how might that level of attention affect how the law treats Burress?
Forget Plaxico Burress the player, and forget the impact he's not going to have on the Giants' run to repeat as Super Bowl champions now that he's been placed on the non-football injury list. Instead, let's consider the three big factors the Burress fiasco will have on the Giants.
SI.com legal analyst Michael McCann answers the key questions concerning Plaxico Burress, who hours ago turned himself in to police on gun charges related to the self-inflicted gunshot wound he suffered early Saturday morning at New York City's Latin Quarter nightclub.
With no football to play for the first time in 18 years, former pro Ross Tucker is passing the time reading about his favorite sport. What follows are a few links to NFL-related articles he found and his take on them.
Here on Thursday, the interviewing ended. Put another way, the New England Patriots were allowed to stop talking and the New York Giants were forced to do likewise. This is literally true; 15 minutes after his last interview session was to have ended, the Giants' Michael Strahan at last rose from his microphone and was nudged away from his inquisitors (audience might be a more appropriate description) back to the team's inner sanctum. He was still talking over his shoulder as he disappeared behind a curtain, his voice trailing off like the closing chords of a song fading into the air but never really ending, as if big No. 92 is still talking somewhere, right at this minute.
• Plaxico Burress continues to dominate his matchup with the Eagles secondary, using his size and athleticism. The 6-foot-5 receiver towers over the Eagles' corners (Lito Sheppard and Sheldon Brown) and Eli Manning exploits the matchup by throwing the ball high when Burress is well-covered by either of the corners. Burress repeatedly came down with critical third-down receptions on an assortment of acrobatic grabs -- on his way to a seven catch, 136-yard performance, his fourth 100-yard receiving game against the Eagles since joining the Giants in 2004.