Plaxico Burress is planning to play in the NFL, but only after getting to spend lost time with his family. The former-New York Giant's was headed home to Florida to hold his daughter who was born during Burress' 20-month prison sentence. Burress sported a brand new Philadelphia Phillies baseball cap when he walked out of the gates of the Onieda Correctional Facility on Monday morning and it got people wondering about it's significance.
The first person to greet Burress was his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who jumped into his client's arms during his walk to freedom. Rosenhaus told reporters there were a lot of NFL teams interested in Burress' services.
Burress has a wife and two daughters living in Florida.
The NFL lockout prevents Rosenhaus from speaking with any teams , but expect quite a few to take a chance on Burress; who was considered one of the top NFL wide-outs before he was sent to prison for a gun charge in 2009.
The 34 year-old was released by the Giants after his November 2008 arrest for shooting himself in the thigh outside a New York City nightclub.
The Giants later reached out to Burress while he was locked up. Owner John Mara visited his former player in prison last year and Giants quarterback, Eli Manning made a public statement last month saying he would welcome back one of his favorite targets.
Burress, who caught the winning touchdown in the Giants last minute Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots in 2007, will be on parole for two years. One of the stipulations of parole is getting work. That should be no problem for a high-caliber wide-out, unless the lockout shuts down the season. Most teams will be lining up for the services of Burress, even though he is not in game shape. The lockout means most NFL players aren't in game shape either.
The Baltimore Ravens, St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles all seem like logical fits and front-runners for a game-breaker like Burress. Rams coach Steve Spagnuola worked with Burress when they were both with the Giants.
Right now every one is concluding that Burress might be joining another ex-con, Michael Vick, in Philly. Burress' transition back to football will be a little less controversial than Vick's. Burress won't face the protests and scorn Vick endured when he rejoined the NFL after his conviction for animal cruelty. Burress' crime was onto himself.
Burress is anxious get back on the field. "As far as football is concerned, if and when everything gets settled, when they get back on the field, I'll be ready," he said this morning.
Eagles fans shouldn't get too excited about the symbolism of the Phillies cap. Remember, LeBron James was spotted many times, and criticized for it, flaunting a New York Yankees hat like it was a Miss USA crown right before he was a free-agent. Knick fans took that hat as a sure sign that King James was headed to Madison Square Garden.
Little did they realize, it was just a hat.