The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Get a Clue, Plax

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New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau was the inspiration for Law & Order's DA Adam Schiff. And if Morgenthau has his wish, Plaxico Burress won't get renewed for another season on the gridiron for several years. Burress is very likely going to jail and he has no one to blame but himself. His thoughtless act endangered everyone in that club and he is fortunate that he only injured himself and not innocent bystanders.

Whether Burress' sentence is 12 months or 32 months, once he's served his time he can expect to be conditionally reinstated upon his release from prison just as Michael Vick was reinstated. After he has satisfied the State of New York and the NFL Commissioner then he should be permitted to return to playing football.

But the greatest obstacle to Burress' return is not Morgenthau or Commissioner Roger Goodell, but Burress himself. Will he be able to regain his fitness after potentially several years in jail? This would be an enormous hill to climb. An NFL players' performance declines after age 30 and for wide receivers this is even more acute because speed and agility, as opposed to power and size, is their bread and butter. Whenever Burress comes back he'll need to make a major commitment to fitness and conditioning in order to even make a team.

Right now Burress' attorney Benjamin Brafman is locked in a war of words with Morgenthau over comments the DA made while a grand jury is considering this case and Brafman is threatening action against Morgenthau himself. Some of this is justified as Brafman tries to secure the best possible deal for his client but, if these games persist, Brafman is doing his client a disservice.

Plaxico would be better served by accepting responsibility for his foolish act, pleading guilty to endangering New Yorkers and using his time in jail to think about what he will do if he's lucky enough to one day pull on pads and a helmet again.

By Jason Maloni  |  August 4, 2009; 1:40 PM ET  | Category:  Crime , NFL , New York Giants , Plaxico Burress , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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