Does Mike Vick's Success Give Plaxico Burress a Better Shot?

There likely are few who are praying for a resolution to the NFL's ongoing labor negotiations more than Plaxico Burress. The former New York Giants wide receiver is set to be released from prison on June 6th after serving a two-year sentence for weapons charges after Cheddar Bobbing himself in a NYC nightclub.

Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, took to Twitter Saturday to begin the Plaxico Redemption Tour. Via Twitter:

The reaction to Rosenhaus' tweets have been mostly positive. So far, Bears fans have come out in force lobbying Lovie Smith to sign Burress. But it makes you wonder if Rosenhaus' job might have been made a little easier by Michael Vick's resurgence this season. Vick's repeated shows of remorse combined with a remarkable season on the field made his return to the league much more palatable - at least for a lot of people not named Mark Buehrle.

Granted, there are differences when you look at the histories of the two players. Burress has been a notorious head case throughout his career with multiple instances of running afoul of both the league and the law. While Vick admitted after his release from prison that he was "lazy" during his time in Atlanta, it was never a label that was applied to him by others. And before the dogfighting conviction, Vick was hit with various allegations of criminal misconduct, none of which stuck.

(The Ron Mexico Incident - while hilarious - was a civil suit, not a criminal one.)

Certainly the firestorm that surrounded Vick after the dogfighting revelation far outweighed public reaction to Burress' situation. Which begs the question - will fans be more accepting of his return to the league? Many people wondered how Burress could spend two years in prison for only injuring himself when guys like Donte Stallworth and Leonard Little have done little or no jail time after having been convicted of killing other people. Plus people charged with gun crimes in America are often treated less harshly than those who commit crimes against animals.

Generally, the public's attitude has been that if a guy proves he can perform on the field, he is more easily forgiven. Of course, if there is no football in 2011 it means Burress will be 34 years old and have sat out three seasons. The chances of him returning to his previous form could be slim.

No comments:

Post a Comment