As the Plaxico Burress rumor mill churns leading up to his June 6 release from prison, it’s anyone’s guess as to where he’ll land in the NFL.
A return to the Giants is believed to be possible, but one person with some insight — starting LT David Diehl — doesn’t see the 33-year-old receiver coming back. However, it’s not for the reasons you might expect.
“I would like to say yes,” Diehl said Friday when asked about a possible Burress return. “He’s had a lot of success for us as a player. But, if I were Plaxico, I would say no. With everything that happened (pleading guilty in 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon), Plaxico has taken a lot of heat, not only through the media. … I think about Michael Vick’s situation. He went into a new situation, a new city, where he could almost start fresh with new teammates and go back to basics.”
Diehl, who appeared on NFL Network this week, made it clear that he believes Burress will be signed by a team and still has football ability, despite missing the last two seasons. Diehl also said the Giants’ locker room would welcome back Burress, calling him a “good teammate” who “never wronged anybody.” But the unique, candid perspective that Diehl offered as a former teammate is that Burress might not want a return to New York so he can simply move on in life.
“If I were Plaxico, I don’t think I would want to,” Diehl said. “It’s reality. It happened. It’s easy for someone on the outside looking in to judge. But it’s a whole different experience when you’re the person it happened to. From this point on, he’s going to live with this for the rest of his life. He can change, and I’m sure he’s changed, since it happened. And I’m sure when he comes out, he’ll be a better husband and father. He’s going to want to prove all the naysayers wrong. That’s enough to fuel anyone.
“More importantly, if I were in that position, in order to move on and start fresh, you have to get back to square one. That’s getting back to playing football. That’s getting back to yourself, and not only enjoying your family, but enjoying your life and being happy again. For him, I think that’s somewhere else.”