Well, it's happening, Plaxico Burress is heading back to New York, just not the way some people were thinking as Burress agreed Sunday to a 1-year deal worth roughly $3 million dollars to play for the New York Jets. It had been rumored leading up to this agreement that either the Pittsburgh Steelers or the New York Giants were favorites to land the talented receiver, both having been his home prior to the shooting incident that cost him two years in jail.
If you take a second to think about it, however, you can see that the Steelers, and especially the Giants, had no real shot at Plax, and he was using them as leverage for the Jets deal.
Plaxico, who I know from being a Steelers fan (not personally but about as close to it thanks to the in-depth coverage that can be found in today's media), is the type of player that doesn't respond well to discipline. Authoritative coaches and his personality clash like cats and dogs. It happened with Bill Cower and then it escalated when Burress went to the Giants.
The troubled relationship between Plax and the Giants coach Tom Coughlin was the stuff of New York legend. They had such a volatile working relationship that is was amazing either of them was able to hold it together long enough to win a Super Bowl together in 2008.
And apparently time doesn't heal all wounds either as Burress made some recent unflattering remarks about Coughlin.
"My situation in New York, me and my coach had an ambivalent relationship to say the least," Burress said. "Some things that I didn't agree with, with the way he went about things. And the only way to show my way was to just rebel. Is that who I am? No."
"This is not college," he added. "This is professional sports. If you can't sit down and go talk to a man that you are busting your tail for, not even have the respect for anything that you have to say, like I said, the only thing I knew then was to rebel."
It's rather obvious from these comments that the famed ability of prison making people reevaluate situations and forgive people didn't sink in with Plax. Coughlin, for his part, just brushed those comments aside.
"I don’t pay any attention to it. It is what it is," Couglin said. "Maybe he’s sending me a long a badge of honor, how do I know."
“I hope he gets some normalcy in his life and has a chance to spend some time with his family and that he gets to know his kids once again and his wife whose done a tremendous job of holding that family together for the last two years – she deserves some help," he added.
Burress never had any real intention of going back to the Giants, he used them as a means to an end, but the other New York team had everything he wanted; a players coach, an offensive that needs him, and an overall team poised to make a Super Bowl run.
Let's just hope he avoids the nightclubs… or has at least read a few books on the proper way to handle a gun.
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