My Blue Heaven: Plaxico's Return to New York?

Adam RosenCorrespondent IIJuly 27, 2011

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)
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Pull the trigger, Jerry.

The time is now to sign Plaxico Burress.

No ifs, ands or buts.

The New York Giants need him.  The offense needs him.  And most importantly, Eli Manning needs him. 

Although Burress will forever be known for his game-winning catch in Super Bowl XLII, en route to the greatest Super Bowl upset victory of all-time over the 18-0 New England Patriots, still on my mind is what if?

What if the night of Nov. 28, 2008 never happened? What if Burress was in Washington D.C. with the team preparing for a game against the Washington Redskins? Or, what if the bullet had missed?

Although the Giants were 10-1 at the time of the shooting, I can't live my life by asking what if? 

I can only live by what happened and we all know what happened after the shot that was heard round the Tri-State area: a night that not only changed the fate of the Giants, but altered the career of Burress. 

So from "Super Bowl Legend" to convicted felon, to uniform No. 17 to Inmate number 09-R-3260, instead of being a member of the football Giants (which he should've been), Burress was now added to the roster at the Ulster Correctional Facility, a medium-security prison in upstate Napanoch.

Last month, the soon-to-be 34-year-old was released from prison after spending nearly two years behind bars on a gun charge.  And similar to the path Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick was on, who was also seeking a second chance at life, Burress' position is no different. 

He appears to be on the road to redemption, as Drew Rosenhaus' client has done all the right things, speaking to kids about the dangers of guns, and he has been staying out of trouble.

Now, Burress has turned his positive actions into a return to professional football, and hopefully a reunion with his former employer. 

The politically correct would say, if Burress can use his return to New York as a platform to continue those warnings to kids about the danger of guns and violence, a reunion with the Giants would be well worth it. 

But I say who cares about politics?

He's a football player who made a mistake.  A mistake that almost cost himself his life, and his career, but most importantly, a mistake that cost the Giants a chance of becoming the first team since the 2004-2005 Patriots to repeat as Super Bowl champions.

Many people will wonder if Burress has learned from his troubled past, and wonder if he still can play. I'll make it simple.  The answer is yes.

Whether it has been Burress' suspensions, his missed practices and or the thousands of dollars he's been fined, while playing for Coughlin, it's no secret Burress and Coughlin dislike each other. 

And although you don't have to give Burress credit for saying he's a changed person, but I'm going to, he will have to be on his best behavior while on probation, and no better place for Burress to resurrect his career than in East Rutherford, N.J.

But before Burress returns to the gridiron in a Giants uniform, Burress and Tom Coughlin must work through their personality differences, and get on the same page.   Burress isn't a bad person.  Coughlin just never liked him.

I'm not asking Coughlin to be best friends with him, but for the sake of the team,  if he wants to win, he better pretend to at least like him. 

And whether you like him or not, Burress deserves a second chance. 

So on Friday, when free agents are officially allowed to sign with their new teams,  we might find out which NFL team will be giving Burress that chance.   

Let's hope it's the New York Giants. It only seems right.