Burress’ career in limbo after gun possession charge

Published 2:21 am Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The New York Giants might make a decision on Plaxico Burress’ immediate football future before the justice system or the NFL hands down rulings.

In the wake of an accidental shooting that led to weapons possession charges against Burress on Monday, the Giants’ hierarchy discussed the team’s options. The Giants recognize there’s a chance the star receiver who caught the winning pass in the Super Bowl might be able to report for the team’s next practice Wednesday.

“We are dealing with that,” coach Tom Coughlin said in a conference call. “Today we have had some discussions. Those discussions will be ongoing.”

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The Giants have several choices for dealing with Burress, who on Monday was taken to court in handcuffs and released after posting $100,000 bail.

They suspended him for a game and fined him earlier this season for missing a team meeting in September, so they could do that again, or possibly give him a longer suspension. He also can be put on the non-football injury list, with the team having the option whether to pay him.

There are more extreme actions, such as releasing Burress. However, that could put a strain on the team’s salary cap next season. Burress signed a $35 million contract days before the start of the season and $11 million is believed to be guaranteed.

The team could let Burress return to practice but not allow him to play in Sunday’s home game against the Philadelphia Eagles. They also could let him play, but that seems unlikely if his history is taken into account.

Burress has been fined dozens of times by the Giants for violating team rules since joining them in 2005. His suspension earlier this season seemingly is another strike against him.

Coughlin refused to say what the team was thinking.

“As I said, we are in the stages of trying to gather information and make decisions as to where we go from here,” he said. “And at this point in time, I’m not prepared to say anything.”