Burress Case To Be Continued Until September

Though free-agent receiver Plaxico Burress won’t be getting a trial date during Monday’s hearing regarding pending felony charges that could put him away at least two days for every 24 hours that Mike Vick will have spent in custody, the fact that the next hearing won’t be held until September suggests that Burress likely won’t be facing a trial during the 2009 season.
If, after all, the prosecution were planning to attempt to block Burress from playing football this year by dropping a trial between, say, Week Nine and Week Ten, they’d be banging the table now for a trial date.
So while there are no absolute guarantees that Burress will be available for all of the coming campaign, it’s looking more and more likely that he’ll be able to avoid a trial before the middle of February, 2010.
Meanwhile, we need to take issue — strongly — with the reported belief in league circles that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell might suspend Burress after he signs with a new team.
“It’s buyer beware,” an unnamed NFL General Manager told the New York Daily News.  “You are going to have to go forward and sign him and wait for the commissioner to rule on it.  He’s not going to tell you ahead of time.  This one is a mess.”
But Goodell said during the annual Super Bowl news conference, in response to a question from Mike Garafolo of the Newark Star-Ledger, that no action will be taken against Burress until the criminal case is resolved, given that Burress is a first-time offender.
“Our rules and our policy are quite clear from when we revised our personal conduct policy that we’re looking to deal with repeat offenders,” Goodell said in a transcript made available by the league after the press conference.  “We may not wait for the legal process to conclude when we have repeat offenders.  You can have a false accusation once, maybe twice.  When you start getting into multiple accusations, you are putting yourself in the wrong position. You are making the wrong decision. You are in the wrong places. At that point in time, you are reflecting poorly on the NFL, yourself, your teammates.  That does damage for all of us.
“I’m very firm on the fact that everyone deserves the opportunity to be defended, everyone has the opportunity, if they make a mistake, to deal with that, and deal with it within the legal process.  We understand that many times, our players are targets, and we can’t rush to judgment.  But again, multiple offenses over a period of time, you are putting yourself in the wrong position.”
Unless Goodell changes his mind, Burress won’t be suspended unless and until he pleads guilty or is convicted on the pending charges.
Anyone suggesting otherwise either isn’t aware of Goodell’s remarks, or is merely hoping to scare other teams away from pursuing Burress.
The Bears, Jets, and Bucs are believed to be interested in Burress.

5 responses to “Burress Case To Be Continued Until September

  1. Looks like there will be two big additions to the NFC North Monday…Favre to the Vikings and Burress to the Bears…lock it up!

  2. Any team that wants to sign Burress can pay him with a signing bonus up front with the minimum salary, and then roster bonuses payable weekly to Burress if he is available to play, then the teams are insulated against suspension or jail time.
    It ain’t rocket surgery.

  3. I don’t see where the source specifically claims the Commish is simply waiting for him to be signed. They can sign him now and not know what the punishment will be until he is found guilty (which I don’t see how he won’t be, unregistered gun, check, in public, check, oh we need proof? here is where he shot himself).
    Its very much buyer beware for that exact reason. Teams won’t know what’s going to happen with him until September now.
    They can sign him have him around then around the start of the season lose him for who knows how long depending upon jail time and the suspension Goodell give him. That’s exactly what the GM is saying BECAUSE he won’t rule upon it before the case is done.
    What’s Burress going to do? Keep having his lawyer delay the trial until the end of the season?

  4. I would still be concerned if I were a team. The Commish’s reasoning for not punishing which is qouted above does not apply in this case.
    See Exhibit A- Bullet hole in the leg. There is no possibility of a false allegation in this case.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.