Burress gets 2-year sentence
NEW YORK Former Super Bowl hero Plaxico Burress apologized to his family and tearfully kissed his pregnant wife and young son goodbye Tuesday before he was led away to prison to begin serving a two-year sentence on a weapons charge.
Burress, at the time a star receiver with the New York Giants, was at the Latin Quarter nightclub in Manhattan last November when a gun tucked into his waistband slipped down his leg and fired, wounding him in the thigh.
The accidental shooting enraged New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who publicly castigated Burress for carrying his .40-caliber weapon.
Burress arrived in the courtroom Tuesday wearing jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt, a stark contrast to the dark blue suit he wore last month when he entered his guilty plea.
He was accompanied by his pregnant wife, Tiffany; his
2-year-old son, Elijah; his father, grandmother and stepmother.
Burress told Judge Michael Melkonian before sentencing: “I want to apologize to my family.” They did not speak to reporters as they left the courthouse.
With time off for good behavior, Burress likely will serve 20 months. He could be released from prison as early as the spring of 2011 and will be monitored an additional two years after he is freed.
The Giants, through spokesman Pat Hanlon, said, “This has been a tragic, sad, disappointing situation from the beginning. Our concern has always been for Plax’s welfare, and for his family, and that continues to be our overriding feeling.”
Burress hired a consultant to teach him how to use his time in prison productively.
Burress’ big moment with the Giants came when he caught the winning touchdown over the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the final minute of the 2008 Super Bowl.
The Giants released Burress in April, but the 32-year-old told ESPN he hopes to resume his NFL career when he completes his sentence.
“When I get out, I’ll be 33, not 43,” Burress said in an interview broadcast in August. “I’ll still be able to run and catch. I’ll still have the God-given ability to snag footballs; that’s what I love to do. Of course, I want to play again.”
Gil Brandt, an analyst on NFL Sirius Radio and the former head of player personnel for the Dallas Cowboys, said Burress won’t be too old for a comeback after he’s released.
Burress will be eligible if a team wants him, as the NFL already has announced his suspension will be lifted upon completion of his sentence.
Rams waive Stanley
The St. Louis Rams have signed wide receiver Danny Amendola off the Eagles’ practice squad.
Wide receiver Derek Stanley, a former UW-Whitewater and Verona High School athlete, was waived Tuesday to make room for Amendola.
Amendola spent the 2008 regular season on the Cowboys’ practice squad, then joined the Eagles’ practice squad in the playoffs.
Stanley, a seventh-round draft pick in 2007, had six receptions for 119 yards and a touchdown last year.
-- The Buffalo Bills spent Tuesday addressing a suddenly banged-up roster after placing tight end Derek Schouman and right tackle Brad Butler on injured reserve.
The Bills signed rookie offensive tackle Jamon Meredith off Green Bay’s practice squad to bolster their offensive line after Butler sustained a season-ending injury to his right knee. Tight end Jonathan Stupar was promoted from Buffalo’s practice squad to fill in for Schouman, who’ll also miss the season with a right knee injury.
-- Tight end Martin Rucker, a fourth-round selection in 2008, was waived by the Cleveland Browns (0-2) on Tuesday along with defensive back Marquis Floyd.
-- San Diego has signed defensive tackle Alfonso Boone to help fill the void left when Jamal Williams was lost for the season with a triceps injury. Boone spent the last two seasons with Kansas City.
-- Tampa Bay safety Jermaine Phillips will miss the remainder of the season with a broken left thumb.
-- Carolina signed defensive tackle Antwon Burton to replace Louis Leonard (broken ankle).
-- New England obtained linebacker Prescott Burgess from Baltimore for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.
-- Now that he’s apologized for calling fans “dim wits,” Washington Redskins rookie Robert Henson apparently is done with Twitter. Anyone clicking on Henson’s Twitter account Tuesday got a message saying “Sorry, that page doesn’t exist!”
On Sunday night, Henson fired off many tweets at fans who booed the Redskins during their 9-7 win over the St. Louis Rams. Henson called the fans “dim wits” and asked how people who “work 9 to 5 at Mcdonalds” could know what’s best for the team. Henson apologized Monday during a brief session with reporters.