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Plaxico Burress: Check Bouncing Master

Once a flake, apparently always a flake. This guy didn’t work as hard as he could have on the field for the Steelers otherwise he would have been an All-Pro with them. He came over to the Giants and was fined like 50 times and then shot himself in the leg. And apparently in between it all, he skated through taxes and bills, ditching tabs and bouncing checks. From the AP:

It was 2002 when Burress, then playing for the Steelers, hired [Richard] Malin, a home inspector, to look over a house he was buying in suburban Pittsburgh.

When it came time to pay the bill, Burress disappeared. … After a judge ruled against the no-show NFL player, he sent Malin a check for $700.

“I got a note from Plaxico saying, ‘Sorry for the inconvenience. Please inform the court that the judgment has been paid,”’ Malin said. “Then the check bounced.”

The laundry list goes on and on, probably about as long as his list of infractions while with the Giants that resulted in his mounting fines. Charges of reckless driving, public intoxication, car crashes, domestic disputes and tax evasion heads Plaxico’s stellar off-field achievements. He’s racked up thousands in unpaid taxes, mostly on properties he owns. The dude also hit someone in his car and was driving without insurance because he didn’t pay his premium. I understand that Kevin Gilbride’s playbook may put a lot of information in your head and cloud your ability to think, but come on, Plax, how can you be this much of a delinquent? He and D-Wade should go in business together — they’d be perfect partners. Meanwhile the Player’s Union is working to recoup a million dollar bonus Plax lost from the Giants. Go figure.

(via Deadspin)

Plaxico Has the Giants by the Balls

I remember reading the same language recently, and it was regarding the Dodgers and Manny. Now that the Giants ended their season losing four of five games, including a playoff loss at home to the Eagles, Plaxico Burress has a ton of leverage. Counting the loss against the Vikings is difficult because the Giants had already clinched the top seed while the Vikings needed the win. Still, the Giants offense while looking good in their first game without Plaxico (a 37-29 win over the Cardinals), was uninspiring without him. The Giants averaged just 17.2 points per game in their final five games. They had routinely scored over 30 points per game before that. The Giants scored just 14 and 11 points in their two losses against the Eagles. Plaxico had four touchdowns and 411 yards in five games against the Eagles the past three seasons. Eli Manning had just two touchdowns and four interceptions in those five games to end the season. Manning had 13 touchdowns and seven picks with Plaxico on the field.

Some of this data is difficult to analyze because the Giants played well in two games without Plaxico during the season (Burress also missed a 44-6 week 5 against Seattle), prior to the whole self shooting thing. But after seeing how poor the offense looked down the stretch without him on the field compared to how good they looked with him (and how much Burress elevated his game in the playoffs last year), there’s no way to say that the team doesn’t need him out there. The Giants, with the exception of the Panthers game where they pounded on the ground, couldn’t move the ball in the last month of the year. Some of that is the weather making things tougher on the air game, but a lot of it is not having a game-breaking receiver who commands attention and often double coverage. The Giants lacked a playmaking threat without Burress.

I don’t like the guy because I feel that he has been a bad teammate (he was fined like 50 times for various things like showing up late and skipping practice), but the team needs him on the field and you can tell that based on what some of the players have said. Even Eli Manning knows he needs Burress as a go-to guy because Plax makes a lot of plays to bail him out. It’s unfortunate that a guy with a bad attitude can come out ahead, but it’s looking like that’s the case. Plaxico certainly has the upper hand in this relationship, the only problem is the government might have him by the balls.

I’m Guessing Ahmad Bradshaw Wasn’t Supposed to be Partying With Plaxico

When the Plaxico Burress shooting news came out on Saturday, reports said teammates Antonio Pierce and Derrick Ward were present at the club along with Plax. My boy Monty at Sporting News Radio talked with Ward and got the lowdown that it was really Ahmad Bradshaw at the club with Pierce and Plax on Friday when Burress shot himself in the thigh. Bradshaw you might remember served a 30-day prison sentence over the summer for violating his parole. This is the same Bradshaw who never played a game for Al Groh at Virginia after getting arrested for underage drinking his freshman year, and the same guy who got busted for petty theft not much later. So if Bradshaw’s violated his parole once, he probably wasn’t supposed to be out at a club where alcohol was being served. The way the Giants are going, this incident could result in the loss of two players.

Plaxico’s days as a Giant are probably numbered now. He was already on thin ice for missing meetings earlier in the season, having been fined by the team a bunch of times. He’s a distraction and this year he’s injury prone on top of it. Sure, Plax was a big reason why they won the Super Bowl last year, but at this point you have to wonder if dealing with his shenanigans is worthwhile. Another interesting point to this whole incident was raised by Florio at PFT: what were Burress’ intentions? Was he carrying the gun for protection knowing that teammate Steve Smith had been robbed the week before? Would that excuse even fly with Commissioner Goodell? And why wouldn’t Burress just get licensed to carry the firearm in the first place?

It’s too bad the Giants have to deal with all this crap when they’re having such a good season and looking to repeat as Super Bowl Champs. By the way, does Jerry Jones have enough money left for Plaxico?

All Black Suit Giants All Business

That’s what you get when you leave Antonio Pierce in charge of the dresscode — players wearing all-black. So, as Tom Coughlin instructed Pierce to choose the wardrobe, New York arrived in Arizona looking like a bunch of secret service men. Pierce said black suits are what you wear for business — I guess he’s never been to a funeral. Perhaps his choice of garb is only underscoring the fact that the Giants will be buried on Sunday.

It’s nice to see that the Giants are attempting to be all about the business, assuming the role typically reserved for New England. Only problem is that you can’t out-Patriot the Patriots; they practically invented the team unity, humble pie, business-like approach to big games. Though this type of focus is right on for the Giants, unfortunately it’s coming at the wrong time. Doesn’t seem to be bothering Plaxico Burress however, as he’s predicting a 23-17 Giants win. Yeah, I’d like to see the Pats held to 17 points in warm weather. Now that would truly be deserving of a championship. But getting back to those black suits, it could be worse; you could’ve had Rex Grossman wearing purple — now that’s bad.