I really didn't want to be discussing something like this on game day -- especially a game day against the Washington Redskins -- but the Plaxico Burress situation demands some attention this morning.
Personally, my emotional, gut reaction is that I could care less if Burress never puts on a New York Giants uniform again.
Forget his tremendous talent. Forget what he did for the Giants last season. Forget about what kind of players the Giants have as replacements.
Tom Coughlin and Jerry Reese built a championship team largely because they have a roster filled with players who have bought into the 'team before self' philosophy Coughlin has preached. All except for Burress, that is.
He is the one player who has continued to march to his own drummer, to do what he wants when he wants.
The Giants as a group have continued to show the hunger to win even after being crowned Super Bowl champions. That, largely, is responsible for their 10-1 record going into today. There is no complacency.
Again, except for Burress. He is the one player who seems to have the 'I got my ring and I got my money so now I can do whatever I want' attitude.
This incident makes it obvious, though, that Burress' issues run a lot deeper than just skipping practices and being late for meetings. This goes right to the heart of what kind of person Burress is.
Thank God Burress shot himself Friday night and didn't 'accidentally' put a bullet into Antonio Pierce or another innocent bystander. Burress is in enough trouble for illegally carrying a concealed -- and loaded -- weapon. Luckily for him, something far worse did not happen.
Burress has been a distraction most of the season, but the Giants have been able to play through it. Now, though, he has taken it to a whole new level. Maybe this incident will wake him up and get him back on the right path, but I'm not counting on it.
The Giants have a great thing going. They are in the midst of what could be a historic back-to-back championship run, and possibly a New England Patriots style run of several elite seasons in a row.
Right now, Plaxico Burress is the one issue that threatens to crack the foundation of the empire the Giants have built.
I could care less about Burress' talent. Keeping that foundation solid, not letting anyone or anything chip away at what the Giants have built, has to be the franchise's priority.
If that means cutting Burress loose, so be it.
- Mike Lupica: Burress no longer worth the trouble
- Gary Myers: A huge test for the Giants
- Ralph Vacchiano: Pierce could also have legal problem
- New York Post: Bye-bye, Burress?
- Ian O'Connor: Cutting Burress is the right thing to do