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Tag:Plaxico Burress
Posted on: June 11, 2011 7:09 pm
 

Braylon Edwards, Michael Vick give back

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We've spent enough time documenting all the recent legal run-ins of NFL players, that it's only fair that we give equal time to some of the good deeds, too. Michael Vick was a high school commencement speaker in Philadelphia Friday, and not only did he talk about redemption, he surprised two students with $5,000 college scholarships.

Nice touch, for sure. But former Browns first-round pick Braylon Edwards took it further. In May 2007, when Edwards was still in Cleveland, his foundation pledged $1 million in scholarship money to students in the Cleveland Municipal School District.

The catch, via Shutdown Corner: "Students and their parents signed a pledge that the students would complete at least 15 hours of annual community service and maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Those students were also given help from tutors and workshops through the process via Edwards' ADVANCE 100 program."

Edwards has been known for many things during his NFL career, most of them having to do with hands of stone, running afoul of the law, and his love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with Browns fans. But give him credit: he kept his word. And now, 100 students each received a $10,000 scholarship, courtesy of Edwards.

In fact, Braylon sounded downright inspirational when he tweeted the news last month.

"As the 2nd most hated man in Clev. & a man of my word, Today I will honor a promise made to 100 students in Cleveland 6 years ago … The last of my Advance 100 students will graduate from my program & head off to college on scholarships that I will provide them with. … Guys enjoy & embrace your new beginnings and remember your promise to me, to reach back & help someone else along the way!!!"

Points for pandering to his audience. As Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar notes, "In 2009, Edwards got into it with a friend of James outside a Cleveland nightclub and punched the man, leading to comments from LeBron that Edwards' actions were motivated by jealousy." Perhaps there is still some ill-will towards Edwards for how things ended in Cleveland, but compared to LeBron, he might as well be Drew Carey. Well played, sir.

Once the lockout ends, Edwards says he'd like to stay with the Jets. One problem: New York will have to decide how to allocate their salary-cap dollars; in addition to Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith are also free agents -- not to mention the never-ending rumors about Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 12:36 pm
Edited on: June 10, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Burress: 'Give me a playbook and I'll learn it'

BurressPosted by Josh Katzowitz

In his first interview since his release from prison earlier this week, WR Plaxico Burress pleaded for potential employers not to judge him by his past and to just give him a chance to make a good impression.

"I know what I'm capable of. All I need to say to teams is 'don't judge my future by my past,'" he told the Wall Street Journal. "Just let me come out and play football … Just give me a playbook and I’ll learn it.”

Burress, because of the lockout, can’t be in contact with any teams, though Eagles QB Michael Vick said this week that Philadelphia could use a receiver like him. As Ryan Wilson pointed out recently, many other teams also could have an interest in seeing what Burress has left in his soon-to-be-34-year-old body.

Burress, during the interview, made some interesting observations, namely what it was like to watch NFL games with fellow inmates and what having former Giants teammates visit him meant to him.

"There is nothing pleasant about prison," he said. "There's so much I can tell you and (at the same time) no one thing I can put my finger on. There's an emotional toll and there were definitely some guys I was around who'd done things that made me say, ‘Really, seriously, I am here?’”

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Posted on: June 8, 2011 8:40 am
Edited on: June 8, 2011 10:31 am
 

Browns won't go after Plaxico Burress

P. Burress is released from prison (AP).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Even though the prospect of NFL free agency seems ever so far away, the Browns seemingly already know how they’re going to play it in the offseason. In a word, conservative.

That’s the word from Cleveland GM Tom Heckert, who says (via the Cleveland Plain Dealer) that the team will not go after high-priced veteran free agents.

"We're not going to be gung-ho in free agency," Heckert said. "There's a couple of guys that we may be interested in, but it's not going to be enough where it's going to affect how we practice and all of that stuff."

The biggest free agent question mark this week is former WR Plaxico Burress, who was released from prison a couple days ago after a 20-month sentence and could draw some interest in the free agent market (in all other weeks, we’d ask about Eagles QB Kevin Kolb, and Heckert also said the Brown aren’t going after him either).

The Browns, though, aren’t interested in Burress, because Heckert says he’s not desperate to upgrade his team’s WR corps (I’m not sure I totally agree with him about that).

“We added a tight end and added a fullback that can catch the ball, so I think we did help our receiving as a group," Heckert said. "But if we think somebody can improve us, we'll do it."

It just probably won't be Burress - who's still very tall but will be 34 years old before next season and hasn't played since 2008.

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Posted on: June 4, 2011 2:36 pm
 

Hot Routes 6.4.11: Snyder not impressing Congress



Posted by Josh Katzowitz

  • Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s decision to sue Washington City Paper has attracted the attention of at least one member of Congress. Rep. Steve Cohen – a Democrat from Tennessee – will try again to pass a bill through the House of Representatives that prevents people from filing “strategic lawsuits against public participation.” Which basically means that a rich dude can’t file a meritless lawsuit simply for the purpose of obtaining revenge.
  • This, I believe, qualifies as good news. The Bills players are donating $10,000 to support the help efforts being made in Joplin, Mo. Punter Brian Moorman also said the players are uniting with New Era, which will provide 10,000 pieces of clothing. Hopefully, they’re not all Bills hats.
  • If you’re looking for the top ex-con athletes playing pro sports today, it should be no surprise to you that many of them are football players. From Plaxico Burress to Michael Vick, Forbes.com has you covered. Nice to see a jockey and a darts player (thrower?) in there, as well.
  • Among the newsy items in this transcript of Patriots QB Tom Brady from his charity football game Friday: his surgically-repaired foot feels good; his newest haircut looks good; and he’s confident a solution to the lockout is forthcoming.
  • In case you’ve forgotten about the NFL strike of 1987, CBSSports.com’s own Chuck Finder is here to remind you about how crazy it was.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 10:58 pm
 

Several NFL teams might have interest in Burress

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Plaxico Burress will be released from prison on June 6 after serving more than 20 months for, well, accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub in November 2008. The punishment may not have fit the crime, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to make an example out of Burress, presumably to serve as a warning to others who might consider carrying a loaded weapon in public (or shooting themselves with it, for that matter).

At the time, Bloomberg was clear: "I don't think that anybody should be exempt from [three-and-a-half years behind bars for illegally carrying a loaded handgun]. And I think it would be an outrage if we don't prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

Now, almost two years later, Burress will finally get his release. For most inmates about to earn their freedom, the biggest concerns about life on the outside often include finding gainful employment and staying out of trouble. The latter is linked to the former, so landing a job is paramount. Which brings us to this: What will the NFL market be for Burress' services once the lockout is resolved?

First, some background: Burress last caught a pass in an NFL game on November 16, 2008. Still with the Giants, and less than a year removed from a Super Bowl title, Burress had just three receptions for 47 yards against the Ravens before a hamstring injury forced him to the sidelines, and a few days later, a self-inflicted gunshot wound changed his life. The next time Burress suits up in an NFL game he will be 34, the age most players begin their transition to life after football.

So the dilemma facing potential suitors goes something like this:
  • After more than 20 months behind bars, does Burress have anything left?
  • How would he fit in with new coaches/teammates/scheme? 
  • Will he stay out of trouble? 
All questions NFL front offices will undoubtedly consider, and a few of them will be ready to sign Burress once we have a 2011 season. In today's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King lists his early front runners.

"I think [Burress will] have two or three teams very interested. My guess is the Jets, Eagles and Raiders will be involved (the Jets if they don't sign Randy Moss), and I'll tell you a team that should be interested: Cleveland. A reborn Burress would do a good job giving Colt McCoy a threat he doesn't have right now -- if Burress is in shape and as interested in resuming his career as I've heard."

The Jets have proven time and again that they are unafraid to hitch their wagon to players with baggage (apparently, there's plenty of room on the wagon for both). Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are the most recent examples, and they helped the Jets to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance last January. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum know what they're doing.

There is also the possibility that Edwards and Holmes could be lost via free agency should there be a season. That explains the interest in Randy Moss, although neither Moss nor Burress offer Mark Sanchez quite the dynamism that Edwards and Holmes provided a year ago.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, intimately familiar with incarceration and second chances, appeared on Philadelphia's WIP last week and said that he'd love to have Burress on his team.

"Absolutely -- it would be a great addition for our team," said Vick, according to SportsRadioInterview.com. "With the guys we have now, I think we can fit him in and make it work. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to put that ring on your finger at the end of the year.

"I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did, and he'll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can. I think the guys would be willing to embrace him and bring him in. If that happens, who knows? We talking about 'what ifs' now? It would certainly be a good thing."

Assuming Burress could recapture his past form, it would give the Eagles a third legitimate wideout after DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin (not to mention tight end Brent Celek). There's also a running game featuring LeSean McCoy and Vick, an offensive line bolstered by first-round pick Danny Watkins, and an already-explosive offense suddenly seems more dangerous. And let's be honest, if anybody can relate to what Burress has been through, it's Vick.

King also mentions the Browns, a team mired in futility, and on its fourth coach since 2004. The organization hired Mike Holmgren as team president in 2010 to turn things around. He drafted quarterback Colt McCoy, who played better than anyone expected as a rookie, and added wide receiver Greg Little in April. Still, Cleveland is in need of a big-play, pass-catching threat; Josh Cribbs isn't quite there and Burress could be an attractive short-term solution while McCoy and his young offensive teammates gain experience.

Whether Burress has any interest in going to the Browns is a different matter entirely, although Ron Cook, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, thinks the Steelers should give Burress a look. Pittsburgh drafted Burress in the first round of the 2000 draft, and he was then-rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target in 2004. The Steelers chose not to re-sign him after his contract expired following the season, and Burress ended up with the Giants, where he won a Super Bowl in 2008.

This is just a hunch, but the Steelers will have no interest in Burress; they currently have a depth chart full of quality young receivers to go along with veteran Hines Ward. If they take a chance on any 6-4 wideout, it will be Limas Sweed, their 2008 second-round pick who has battled injuries and drops in an unexceptional three-year career.

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Posted on: May 24, 2011 8:20 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 8:44 pm
 

Hot Routes 5.24.11 Belichick's latest honor

Posted by Will Brinson and Andy Benoit



Got a link for the Hot Routes? Hit us up on Twitter (@CBSSportsNFL).
  • Not to be outdone (or wait, actually, they were slightly outdone) were the Raiders, who had 34 players show up for their workouts in Georgia.

Posted on: May 24, 2011 2:56 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 3:20 pm
 

Vick: Burress would be 'great addition' to Eagles

Posted by Will Brinson

On Sunday, we passed along the news that the Eagles might be "first in line" when it comes time for teams to think about signing soon-to-be-ex-con Plaxico Burress.

Word of this report started spreading around and, naturally, someone asked Michael Vick about it. His response? he said Plax would be a "great addition" to Philly's roster.

"Absolutely it would be a great addition for our team," Vick said, via Sports Radio Interviews. "I think with the guys we have now I think we can fit him in and make it work. Obviously the ultimate goal at the end of the day is to put that ring on your finger at the end of the year. I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did and he'll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can.

"I think the guys would be willing to embrace him and bring him in. If that happens? Who knows? We talking about 'what ifs' now? It would certainly be a good thing."

We are talking about hypothetical situations here, but with the lockout rolling along, what else are we supposed to talk about?

And besides, as I wrote previously, I think Philly would be a good spot for Plaxico to land. He'd be no higher than third on the depth chart in Philly, which means relatively low expectations. At his age, and coming out of prison, that's a good thing.

Also important is the transition from incarceration back to an NFL gig. If any team in football knows about handling as drastic a lifestyle shift as that, it's Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles.

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Posted on: May 22, 2011 1:56 pm
 

Eagles 'first in line' for Burress' services?

Posted by Will Brinson

Plaxico Burress will be released from prison on June 6, one year, eight months and 14 days after he was sent to jail for shooting himself in the leg. And when he returns, it sounds like the Philadelphia Eagles will get the first look at Burress. 

We've already been debating on what -- if any -- NFL roster Plax could find himself on come the start of 2011, but word on the street is that Andy Reid and Co., who already took a gamble on a former inmate by the name of Michael Vick, will have a leg up on getting Burris.

That's per Gary Myers of the New York Daily News, who's hearing that the Eagles are "first in line" for Burress' services whenever teams can talk to the former Giant.

Myers also notes that Burress will likely head to Florida once he's released, hoping to show off his abilities to a number of teams; the Steelers, Chargers, Falcons and Ravens are also considered to be franchises that might take a shot at Burress' potential redemption.

"He certainly paid for his crime," one personnel director told Myers. "He paid very strong."

The Eagles are the most logical team for Burress to join, primarily because they've got experience with a former inmate in Vick.

Additionally, with DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin on the roster, there wouldn't be any serious pressure on Burress to step in and perform at a high level immediately.

The transition from prison and back onto a football roster would be substantially easier for Burress, and his prior transgressions are nothing compared to Vick's; if Philly can manage to deal with any public relations nightmare that he brought along, adding Burress would be a piece of cake.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com