Plaxico Burress Out of Jail, Planning NFL Return

Plaxico Burress Out of Jail, Planning NFL Return

At the height of his popularity, Plaxico Burress was an elite receiver who helped the New York Giants win the 2007 Super Bowl. He was a fan-favorite and his cards and memorabilia were highly collected. However, once at his peak, Burress would soon fall.

Basking in the glow of his successes, Burress felt his compensation was lacking in comparison to other top wide receivers in the league. Although he didn't technically "hold-out" from team activities, Burress became difficult during the off season and blamed his lack of participation on an injury. He finally got a restructured deal and the money he felt he was due, the 2008 season went poorly for Burress. He was plagued by injuries including one that forced him out of a game versus the Arizona Cardinals. The following week, on November 28th, Burress accidentally shot himself with a glock pistol in a New York night club essentially ending his career with the Giants and, possibly, the NFL.

Burress was charged and convicted for illegally carrying a handgun and sentenced to two years in prison. He was released today after serving 20 months. The final months of the sentence were waived based on his good behavior.

The uncertainty regarding the NFL collective bargaining agreement has prevented Burress from signing with a team immediately but it appears that several are interested in his services. The question remains whether Burress still possesses the skills that set him apart as a wide receiver. He has worked out regularly since his incarceration, but it has been nearly 30 months since his last game. He'll be 34 in August, which means his abilities are likely in decline. Although there is great likelihood that some team will take a chance on Burress, the production simply might not be there anymore. Teams expected to pursue Burress include the Eagles, Redskins, Jets, Rams and, possibly, the Giants but that seems unlikely.

Some fans will point to the story of Michael Vick as a basis for the possibility that Burress can retain his form. Vick's recent success has shown that athletes can return to greatness despite legal trouble and even jail time. Burress will not face the same scrutiny that Vick did upon his return because his illegal act was a random act of stupidity versus an involvement with a dog-fighting ring. For those collector's who feel Burress will regain his place among the NFL greats, now is the time to grab a few of his cards while they are still cheaply priced. Little will likely beĀ  available at first, but over time collectors will dig out all their old Burress cards once he is officially on an NFL roster.

Here are some of Plaxico Burress' top rookie cards:

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2004 Upper Deck Power Up #78 Plaxico Burress Pittsburgh Steelers (3607)
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2008 Upper Deck Icons Football Card # 67 Plaxico Burress New York Giants
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2006 Topps Draft Picks and Prospects #1 Plaxico Burress - NM-MT
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Plaxico Burress 2007 Leaf R&S Game Used Jersey #82 100
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2012 Panini Prime Signatures Plaxico Burress Prime Proof Red 99
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Football Card Single LEAF GOLD FUTURES PLAXICO BURRESS Certified 2000
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2002 SP Authentic #9 Plaxico Burress - NM-MT

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Trey Treutel is an Ole Miss grad and a lifelong sports fanatic. He is a huge fan of the NBA and NFL, as well as soccer, college basketball and college football. As a kid, he collected football and basketball cards. As an adult, he started collecting basketball cards again on a whim, and has since expanded to other sports and entertainment options. Find Trey on Twitter at @datreute.

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