Here's Mike's take on number 17 and the recent firestorm that led to his suspension.
Despite Plaxico Burress' absence at the wide receivers' meeting on Monday, Steve Smith thought it was a "normal day" at Giants Stadium.
"Plax is Plax. He does what he wants," Smith said Wednesday. "We don't see him a lot."
Well, now they won't be seeing him for another 11 days because Burress has been suspended by the team until Oct. 6 for what they termed a "violation of team rules." That violation was skipping out on team meetings -- the second time he has done that in his four seasons with the Giants -- and not returning phone calls as the team tried to figure out where he was.
It appeared to be another simple case of Burress being an insubordinate member of the Giants' organization. But things got a little more complicated Wednesday night when a report on NorthJersey.com -- the website of the Record of Hackensack -- stated Burress has been involved in a pair of domestic disputes with his wife, Tiffany, over the past three months.
The report stated Tiffany Burress called Totowa police twice -- once on June 2 and again on Aug. 19 -- and obtained restraining orders that were eventually dismissed, according to police records. The report stated Tiffany Burress told police in June her husband had grabbed her, to which Plaxico Burress responded by saying his wife hit him.
The August incident reportedly began when Tiffany left Plaxico at a club in New York. He then reportedly returned home and started playing loud music, which led Tiffany to call police. No charges were filed after either incident.
It's unclear if any of this played a role in Burress' absence on Monday, though his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said it was "a private matter and it has to do with 'Plax' and his family."
Giants VP of communications Pat Hanlon declined to comment when asked about the report.
Burress will miss the Giants' Oct. 5 game against the Seahawks at Giants Stadium. He will also be banned from participating in all team activities until the morning after that game, when they begin preparing for the Cleveland Browns.
"We're all saddened by it. But we want to make sure that the message is loud and clear," said coach Tom Coughlin, who made the decision with general manager Jerry Reese and the team's owners. "We have had success here because of the team concept and the team concept means basically that everyone is accountable and responsible and that we don't let the other guys down."
Burress, who recently signed a five-year, $30 million contract, could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but Rosenhaus held a conference call with local media. During the call, Rosenhaus said he and the NFL Players' Association were planning to appeal the suspension, which could result in Burress' losing nearly $250,000 in salary and $200,000 in roster-bonus money.
The Giants could also go after one-fourth of this year's prorated portion of his $4.25 million signing bonus ($212,500), but it's unlikely they would do that, as teams usually attempt that only when they're divorcing themselves from the player.
"We want him back and we want him back under very good terms," Coughlin said. "We try to do this thing the right way."
Rosenhaus declined to give specifics about Burress' situation but said his client "felt it was an emergency." Rosenhaus said Burress called director of player development Charles Way on Monday night, but by that point the Giants were apparently fed up with Burress' lack of contact. During what Coughlin described as a "matter-of-fact" meeting Wednesday morning, the Giants informed Burress of his suspension and sent him home.
Coughlin then told Burress' teammates, most of whom were unaware their team's leading receiver (18 catches, 259 yards and one touchdown through three games) was missing on Monday.
"Obviously the coach and the upper management had to make a decision and the players move on," quarterback Eli Manning said. "We have to prepare for Seattle. ... We'll be fine."
It remains to be seen if Burress will be fine as this situation continues to unfold.
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