A few more thoughts on wide receiver Plaxico Burress and his future with the New York Giants. Then, as coach Tom Coughlin wants his team to do, I am going to move forward as much as possible.
- I don't understand the mentality of superstar athletes, or anyone for that matter, intentionally putting themselves in situations where they feel they must have a weapon in order to protect themselves. Now, I know I am not a superstar athlete. I am a 48-year-old middle class white male and my highest athletic achievement was being co-captain of my high school basketball team. So, I have never been in the shoes of a professional athlete. Still, intentionally putting yourself in a situation where you believe your safety is at risk does not make any sense to me.
- Fans who want to see Burress remain with the Giants -- and play again this season -- are passionate, but in the minority. Let me ask you guys this. The Giants got better when Tiki Barber left. They got better when they traded away Jeremy Shockey. They have not skipped a beat with the retirement of Michael Strahan or the injury to Osi Umenyiora. What evidence have you seen -- on the field this season -- that taking Burress out of the mix would bring down the Giants when those losses did not? The Giants have the highest-scoring offense in the league and Burress has not made a truly significant contribution since Week 2. Yes, the Giants are more talented when Burress plays. That does not, however, make them a better team.
- One more thought on Burress and his on-field contribution. We all love Plax for what he did for the Giants last season, playing on one leg and showing tremendous heart during the Giants Super Bowl season. We can never forget that, and we will always appreciate it and no one is trying to minimize it. That, however, has absolutely zero to do with this season. This is a different team, with a better, deeper offense. Double teams or no double teams, this offense does not need Burress the way the 2007 offense did. Sure, you would always love to have a player with that kind of ability on the field. Even without him, though, this offense has a cachet of weapons (isn't that a strange line under the circumstances?) that is the envy of just about every team in the league. Burress' absence, if he is indeed finished with the Giants, will not be the determining factor in whether or not the Giants defend their title. I believe there are only two players this team absolutely can't lose if it is to win another title -- Eli Manning and Justin Tuck.
- Despite what New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants, there is no way Burress spends 3.5 years in prison for this. He will face discipline, for sure. Possibly a suspension by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. He will probably end up losing a lot of money the Giants would have paid him. He might even end up serving some time behind bars. But, 3.5 years? That seems way out of line.