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Plaxico Burress Could Be Back. Like, Soon.

Everybody's favorite gun-wielding football player, Plaxico Burress, might actually be able to play this season. Deadspin has a great summary of the legal goings-on

Plaxico Burress appeared in court [Monday] so that a judge could tell him not to come back to court again. His case has been adjourned until September, at which point it will go before a grand jury—where he will almost certainly be indicted—and that means the actual guilty/not guilty trial will probably not take place until next year. It may seem like mindless legal maneuvering, but it actually makes a very big difference to Burress.

Plaxico's lawyers claim that Roger Goodell cannot suspend Plaxico Burress until he has actually been convicted of something. So by moving the trial back to February or later, he could conceivably play the entire 2009 season before any verdict is handed down. The NFL, however, doesn't necessarily agree with that interpretation of the player conduct policy. The league may try to suspend him anyway (followed by a lengthy grievance process with the Player's Association), but (maybe) can't do that until he's actually signed by a team. And no one will sign a guy if they think he's going to be suspended.

Wow. It will be interesting to see how Commissioner Goodell handles this. I don't have any examples, but I'm pretty sure he's suspended players before without an actual court conviction. Then again, it isn't as though he was driving drunk or shooting somebody. I understand how dangerous it is for somebody to bring a gun into a dance club, but considering Burress shot himself in the leg, this kind of comes off as a "victimless" crime. At least, the Commissioner might see it that way.

On the other hand, he has the Donte' Stallworth "indefinite" suspension to add to the mix.  That's not good for Plax.

An entire season of Plaxico in the NFL has significant fantasy implications. The article above suggests that the Jets would be looking for Burress, but I think Chicago or Dallas are also options for him. Wherever he goes, he will almost certainly jack up the fantasy value of that team's quarterback.