The NFL released a statement this afternoon that says there will be no additional suspension for Plaxico Burress after he serves his two-year prison term.
The statement reads: “Plaxico Burress is not under contract to an NFL team. In light of his plea today, Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Burress and informed him that he is ineligible to sign with any team until he completes his jail term.
“Commissioner Goodell said Burress will be reinstated and eligible to sign with an NFL team upon the completion of his sentence.”
What does that mean for Burress’ job prospects in September, 2011? It took less than a month for Michael Vick to get a job after serving his debt to society. Can Burress expect similar good fortune?
Arguing against that likelihood is the fact Burress will be 34 in August 2011, while Vick just turned 29. And, for whatever reason, it just feels unlikely that Burress will have people interested in shepherding him back into the league the way Tony Dungy and Andy Reid did for Vick.
But what do we know? So we asked a league decision-maker what he thought Burress would face when he gets sprung.
“I was wrong on Michael Vick [finding work] and I will probably be wrong on Plaxico,” the source said. “The fact remains, it only takes one [team to show interest]. But unlike Vick, I think he’ll get interest and tryouts rather than a signing.
“I can imagine the same conversations will take place then [between coaching and ownership] and you can rationalize anything football-wise: ‘He won’t be front-line star, he’s good in the red zone. . . .’ but man, why? What are you doing?”
“The Steelers knew what they had [in Burress] and they let him go,” the source said. “The Giants took a chance on him, got their championship then washed their hands of him when he screwed up.”
The source believes that the way Vick’s story plays out in Philly will impact Burress’ prospects.
“In two years, Plaxico’s getting out and Vick should be out there looking for a new deal,” the source said. “How well things went in Philadelphia will help dictate what Plaxico gets.”