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Giants Cut Plaxico Burress

Apr 3, 2009 – 3:50 PM
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Bruce Ciskie

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The New York Giants surprised many Friday, announcing the release of wide receiver Plaxico Burress.

The move comes just three days after a gun possession case against Burress was adjourned until June. Burress accidentally shot himself at a nightclub late last season. The Giants suspended Burress for the remainder of the season after the Nov. 29 incident, but his attorneys have been working to get the case taken care of before the 2009 season.

The Giants say they were patient with the Burress situation, but they couldn't wait anymore. In addition to Burress' dragging legal issues, he also likely faces some sort of discipline from the NFL.
"I am an optimist, and I believe most situations can be worked out," said General Manager Jerry Reese. "We hung in there as long as we could in hopes that there could be a resolution to this situation other than the decision we made today to release Plaxico. It wasn't to be, so now we have to move on. Like everybody else here, we want nothing but the best for Plaxico, and we are appreciative of the contributions he made to this franchise."
Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who was non-committal about Burress' potential return, also issued a statement through the team.
"Plaxico's contribution to our championship season in 2007 can never be underestimated or undervalued. He displayed tremendous determination throughout that season. Having said that, I have always been as concerned about Plaxico as a man as I have been about him as a player, and my hope is that everything that has happened over the past several months represents a turning point. He is a young man with a family who has a whole lifetime ahead of him, and I personally wish him and his family well."
Months before shooting himself, Burress did catch the game-winning touchdown pass in a Super Bowl victory over New England, and he wasn't causing the kind of trouble many figured he would when he got a big free-agent contract from the Giants.

Previously, the Giants had said they were "open" to Burress returning to the team, but it's obvious that the delays in getting his legal situation resolved had some sort of an impact on their thinking. Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News says it's not yet clear why the Giants had a change of heart and made this decision.

Plaxico Burress Saga

    On April 3, the Giants released Plaxico Burress, ending his turbulant four-year stay in New York. Click through to see more how Burress' relationship with the Giants unraveled.

    Jeff Zelevansky, Getty Images

    David Tyree had the highlight reel catch of Super Bowl XLII, but Burress had the game-winner. It was easily Burress' top moment as a pro, but what followed was far less rewarding.

    Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

    Unhappy with his contract situation, Burress skipped the Giants' mandatory 2008 summer mini-camp and then sat out much of the preseason with an ankle injury. Then, shortly before the start of the regular season, the Giants agreed to a five-year, $35-million contract extension with the disgruntled receiver.

    Evan Pinkus, Getty Images

    No mandatory mini-camp, no preseason, no problem. In New York's Week 1 win over Washington, Burress made 10 catches for 133 yards.

    Seth Wenig, AP

    In a stunning Week 6 Monday night loss to Cleveland, Burress scored a touchdown but was otherwise shut down, all part of a sub-par season that saw Burress fail to top 100 yards receiving in any game other than the opener.

    Diamond Images / Getty Images

    Burress had a bit of a meltdown in the Giants' Oct. 19 win over San Francisco. The NFL fined him $45,000 for his actions in that game, when he verbally abused an official and threw a ball into the stands. That came just two weeks after the Giants suspended Burress for their Oct. 5 game for missing a team meeting.

    Evan Pinkus, Getty Images

    In an easy New York win over Baltimore during Week 11, Burress tweaked his hamstring, which had him set to be inactive in Week 12 against Washington - until he suffered a more serious leg injury.

    Kathy Willens, AP

    Out at a club, just hours after it was reported that he would be inactive against the Redskins because of his hamstring injury, Burress suffered a gunshot wound to his leg - self-inflicted by accident.

    Stephen Dunn, Getty Images

    Burress surrendered to police Dec. 1 and was charged with two counts of illegal handgun possession after shooting himself in the leg at a nightclub. The Giants also suspended him for the rest of the 2008-09 season.

    Louis Lanzano, AP

    Burress found himself the subject of a lawsuit in late December, allegedly for striking a woman with his car. Then in March, Burress was cited for four traffic tickets on one stop - speeding, improper display of tags, improper lane change and improper window tinting.

    Chris McGrath, Getty Images

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