Plaxico Burress is, of course, the main story for New York Giants fans today after turning himself in to authorities this morning.
Here is the video of a non-limping Burress turning himself in. 'Kudos' to 'Shutdown Corner' for posting it first.
The national football writers are having a field day with this, and I have yet to find anyone willing to defend Burress.
Here are some samples.
From Don Banks of SI.com:
Call it the tipping point, or the reaching of critical mass, but the feeling you get is that the Giants are nearing the "enough is enough" stage with Plaxico Burress. The self-inflicted gunshot wound that Burress suffered Friday night is only the latest example of New York's No. 1 receiver doing himself and -- by extension -- the organization harm. Burress has simply become more trouble than he's worth for a team that has almost everyone else pulling in the same productive direction.
And here's a newsflash: The Giants don't even need him. Not desperately, at least. Not enough to warrant all the rest that now goes with being the Keeper of the Plax. Not with Domenik Hixon emerging as a receiving threat. Not with young talents like (the other) Steve Smith, Sinorice Moss and Mario Manningham waiting in the wings. Not with the ageless Amani Toomer still capable of getting it done. Not with quarterback Eli Manning playing at the top of his game and spreading the ball around like a true socialist.
From Matt Mosley of ESPN:
Until now, the Giants have put up with Burress' antics because he's an absolute warrior on Sundays. His heroics in last season's NFC title game and game-winning touchdown in the Super Bowl outweighed his childish behavior on and off the field. But he has taken it to a different level this season. At age 31, you start losing the "immaturity" excuse.
When he disappeared the day after a win over the Bengals, he later explained that he was dropping his son off at school. It was a lame excuse, and he wasn't able to account for why he didn't notify the club about his absence. He displayed little remorse for his actions and then later had the audacity to tell Fox's Pam Oliver that his transgressions are "what makes Plaxico Plaxico."
Burress' saving grace has always been his immense talent and propensity for making clutch plays. But heading into Sunday's game, which he wasn't going to play in anyway because of an injured hamstring, he had 35 catches for 454 yards and four touchdowns. Those are pretty solid numbers -- for a No. 2 wide receiver.
If Burress had any common sense, he'd look around and realize that the Giants have proven that they can win without stars such as Tiki Barber, Michael Strahan, Jeremy Shockey and Osi Umenyiora. The bedrock of the Coughlin theory for winning championships is that no individual is above the team. Burress has challenged the authority of Coughlin and Reese throughout the season. Now, they have an excuse to teach him the ultimate lesson.
I think you can make book on Plaxico Burress playing elsewhere in 2009, assuming he's not in jail. (And that may not be the best assumption right now.) In fact, I expect the Giants to either de-activate him the rest of the season or place him on the non-football injury list for the rest of the year, effectively ending his career with the New York Giants. Amazing, amazing story.
Giants GM Jerry Reese negotiated a great contract to lock up Burress before the season, making it about as safe a deal as he could, with miniscule guarantees. The Giants can cut or trade Burress after the season and simply eliminate $23 million of the $27-million-in-new-money deal he signed with the Giants. In effect, as I said on NBC last night, when I examine the deal, I see the contract totally on the come. And the first big test of this contract will come on Dec. 10, when Burress is due $1 million from the original and only guaranteed money in the deal, the third installment of a $4.325-million signing bonus when he signed. Let me break down all of the non-guaranteed money in the Burress deal that makes it absolutely simple for the Giants to cut the cord with him after the season:
- Non-guaranteed base salaries: $11.5 million ($1 million in 2009, $3.5 million in 2010, $3.5 million in 2011, $3.5 million in 2012).
- Non-guaranteed one-time bonus to be paid early in the '09 off-season: $2 million.
- Non-guaranteed roster bonuses: $3.5 million ($500,000 in '09, $1 million in 2010, $1 million in 2011, $1 million in 2012).
- Non-guaranteed escalators, payable only on high performance: $5 million ($1.25 million in '09, '10, '11, '12.) He has not reached his escalators yet that would kick in for 2009.
- Non-guaranteed workout bonuses: $1.3 million ($325,000 in '09, '10, '11, '12).
Burress also has a clause in his contract that could come into play and cost him $400,000 this year. For every game he's ineligible to play in because of non-injury reasons, he doesn't earn a $100,000 per game roster bonus.