Plaxico Burress released from prison

Plaxico Burress was released from prison into the daylight hours this morning in New York City experiencing his first day of freedom in nearly two years. Burress is expected to go to Florida to be with his family then get ready to put a game plan together for his return to the NFL.

There’s no doubt the wide receiver will be playing football in the NFL; it’s only what jersey colors he will don that is open at the moment…in addition to that little matter of getting past Roger Goodell too.

The former N.Y. Giants wideout with a Super Bowl winning catch under his belt served two months shy of his 2 year sentence for pleading guilty in August 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon. Here’s a refresher on that plea deal here: Burress cops plea after rolling the dice with grand jury.

The story is worn out about the unregistered firearm carried in his pants into a nightclub that discharged, injuring only Burress. We debated what we learned about the fear pro athletes have of crimes aimed at them and their willingness to take the burden of protecting themselves.

Burress was one of the league’s best receivers prior to this incident destroying years of his life. Will anyone want to hire him again now that he is two years older and spent two years away from the game?

If Michael Vick had at least one suitor and team willing to take a chance on his skills and promise of good behavior, hiring Burress is a no-brainer as well. Although the Giants had nagging issues with him that related to clubhouse rules that under coach Tom Coughlin were strict, that should no longer be a problem if Burress were to use Vick’s success as an inspiration.

Vick is said to be in touch with Burress and may well serve as a mentor at some capacity. Drew Rosenhaus, Plaxico’s agent, recently said that multiple clubs are interested in the 6-ft 5 playmaker and why not?

Unlike Vick, who needed a year back in the league to get his QB rhythm in gear and learn the Andy Reid playbook, Burress should be capable of running patterns soon which is not as difficult. Being a team’s second or even third receiver and being targeted 10 times a game is a far cry from being the center of the offensive scheme like Vick was on every offensive play.

So Plax is back, as the N.Y. tabloids said. Here’s hoping he makes the best of his second chance opportunity to play in the NFL.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles.

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