Plaxico Burress: Will He Return To the New York Giants?

Jim MancariCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2011

GLENDALE, AZ - NOVEMBER 23:  Wide receiver Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants takes the field for warmups for the game with the Arizona Cardinals on November 23, 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The Giants won 37-29.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress is eligible to be released from prison on June 6, 2011 if he gets time off his sentence for good behavior, making him eligible to play next season pending a new CBA.

The 34-year-old receiver was a huge part of the Giants' Super Bowl XLII run and their 11-1 start the following season until his unlicensed firearm shot off in a New York City night club in November 2008, leading to a two-year prison sentence.

I was a huge proponent of the punishment he received. He caused the Giants so much bad publicity that the wheels fell off in a 2008 season that ended in the Divisional round against the Eagles.

Now it appears Burress wants to make a comeback, and Giants GM Jerry Reese has not ruled out bringing him back, saying that they will "investigate" the situation.

With Steve Smith coming off an injury and eligible for free agency, the Giants are going to need a backup plan.

Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham cemented their roles on this team this season. Both have big-play capability.

Steve Smith was Manning's favorite target on third down, and it was obvious that Eli missed Smith down the stretch.

Derek Hagan had a few decent games and should see some time next year, but in a limited role.

The Giants lack a big, bruising wide receiver who will go up and make that big catch before turning it into a big gain.

At one point, this description fit Plaxico Burress perfectly. However, what can we expect of Burress two years removed from the league?

Also keep in mind that he is 34 years old and probably doesn't have too much left in the tank.

Here is how I would like the Giants to handle this situation:

Assuming there is football next season, I'd like to see the Giants sign Burress to a one-year deal, but with the ability to cut him after training camp. If he shows he can be productive on the outside, he deserves a second chance simply based on how good he was when he was here and healthy.

Michael Vick received a second chance, and look how he turned out. Granted, he is a few years younger than Burress, but there is no reason why Plax cannot do the same.

I'd say the risk is worth the reward regarding Plaxico.