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After 20 months Plaxico Burress is finally out.
“I just want to thank God for bringing me through one of the most trying times in my life,” said Burress. “It’s a beautiful day. It’s a beautiful day to be reunited with my family. I want to go home and spend some quality time with them.”
After walking out of the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, NY, this morning, Burress' lawyer, Peter Frankel, immediately drove Burress to meet his family -- wife Tiffany, his son Elijah, 4, and daughter Giovanna, 1. The emotional family reunion took place at the nearby Lodge at the Turning Stone Resort-Casino.
Burress is reportedly traveling back to his home in South Florida to begin training with other football players in an attempt to begin his NFL comeback.
“I’d like to thank everybody for their prayers and words of encouragement,” Burress said during a brief news conference with reporters outside the prison. “I’d like to thank all my fans all around the world for the thousands of letters, for their unwavering support. As far as football is concerned, if and when everything gets settled, when they get back on the field, I’ll be ready.”
Burress will become a free agent once the lockout ends and free agency begins. Drew Rosenhaus, Burress’ agent was the first to great Burress as he left prison, by jumping in his arms while the two smiled and laughed.
Rosenhaus claims that Burress isn’t ruling out any options and will most likely be looked at by the New York Jets, St. Louis Rams, Washington Redskins, and Philadelphia Eagles. Even a reunion with the Giants isn’t out of the question.
Former Giants teammate Osi Umenyiora told ESPN “ I think he’ll be able to make an impact immediately,” he said. “A guy with that kind of physical ability and that kind of talent -- all you have to do is throw him the ball and he’ll be able to make the same kind of plays he was able to make before.”
But according to Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade via Twitter, the Bears should be taking a look at this prospective prospect.
Rumor has it that Burress definitely wants a fresh start, which many deem to be with the Philadelphia Eagles. After dropping 20 pounds in prison and turning 34 in August there should be plenty of teams that should take advantage of Burress. We all saw what it did for the Eagles after they were rewarded with Michael Vick! After picking up Vick after getting released two years ago, it doesn’t seem to be much of a coincidence that the Eagles are researching Burress to be a prospective contributor.
Since catching the game-winning touchdown in the Giants’ 17-14 Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots, Burress hasn’t played any football since late November in 2008. Burress was caught with a handgun in a downtown New York City club. Just after the gun slipped from his waistband Burress shot himself in the thigh when trying to pick it up. Given the state's strict gun control regulations Burress had little leeway in his defense. Burress lost his five-year contract he signed in September 2008 that had a maximum value of $35 million, resulting in lost wages to Burress totaled $27 million.
However, there was a small silver lining with his three-month early release induced by his good behavior.
His current regulations include finishing two years of parole, which includes frequently undergoing substance abuse testing, maintaining a job, maintaining any curfew given by his Florida parole officer and continuing to go to counseling and anger management sessions.
Burress, who worked out four times a week during his twenty-month sentence, was noted to be running sprints, lifting weights and catching passes from other inmates, according to ESPN. He also worked as a grounds maintenance laborer, according to the state’s Department of Correctional Services.
Stay tuned for more news on this talented WR who is no longer locked up, but still locked out.