Plaxico Burress: His Legacy As a New York Giant

Vinny YeagerCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2009

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03:  Wide receiver Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants celebrates after catching a 13-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.  The Giants defeated the Patriots 17-14. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

"Manning, lobs it. For Burress. Alone. Touchdown New York."

Those infamous words from Joe Buck when Plaxico Burress caught the game winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII was the greatest line Giant nation heard since "Wide Right."

Burress, right there and then, became an icon. He will always be remembered as the player who hauled in the most important touchdown in New York Giant history.

Burress signed with the Giants in the '05 and he provided that number one target that young quarterback Eli Manning needed. Amani Toomer was always a good receiver to throw to, but Burress provided that vertical, big-play ability.

In his first few seasons with New York, Burress was putting up outstanding numbers and was always leading the Giants' receiving corps. Whenever head coach Tom Coughlin was in need of a big play, he knew that Burress was the right guy to be called upon.

Although the Giants were a solid team, Burress' first two years with New York both ended with first round playoff loses to the Carolina Panthers and the Philadelphia Eagles, respectively.

In '07, New York was a Cinderella team and made a magical run throughout the playoffs, capping it off with a monumental upset of the once undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. Burress and his teammates were on top of the world, and it seemed that nothing could go wrong.

New York entered the '08 season with a chip on its shoulder. No one was giving the defending Super Bowl champions the respect that they deserved. The Giants started off the season hot and it seemed like capturing back-to-back championships was possible.

Then tragedy struck to not only Burress, but an entire organization.

On a November night in '08, Burress was at night club when he accidentally shot himself in leg. Burress, who was with current Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce, was rushed to the hospital to get medical attention.

Burress came away from the incident without any major injuries, but major consequences were soon to come.

He was out for the rest of the season, killing the momentum of the Giants' offense. Manning looked lost without Burress and had to depend on young receivers to step up to be number one threats.

New York's thoughts of another Super Bowl title were being questioned. They were totally erased from their minds after another first-round playoff lose to the Eagles.

Burress was released by the Giants this past offseason and is now going through the process of seeing of how much jail time he is going to receive.

Burress did a lot of great things for the Giants, and not many players can handle the number one receiver job in New York. He brought joy and tears to all when he caught that game-winning touchdown pass over Ellis Hobbs.

Unfortunately, all great things come to an end, and the Giants, as well as Burress, have to move on.