Plaxico Burress was released from prison Monday after 20 months behind bars

By Off the news wire
Updated: June 6, 2011

ROME, N.Y. – Ex-New York Giant Plaxico Burress was released from prison Monday after more than 20 months behind bars on a weapons charge stemming from an incident at a New York City nightclub.

He left Oneida Correctional Facility in central New York Monday morning, having been released 3 months early for good behavior.

“I just want to thank God for bringing me through one of the most trying times in my life,” he said to reporters outside the prison. “It’s a beautiful day. It’s a beautiful day to be reunited with my family. I want to go home and spend some quality time with them.”

Burress got into trouble after he entered a Manhattan nightclub in November 2008 with a handgun in the waistband of his pants despite not having a permit to carry a weapon in New York or New Jersey, where the NFL player lived. The gun slipped and discharged, leaving him with an injury in the thigh.

The football star pleaded guilty in August 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to two years in jail.

Burress had become a hero to the New York Giants after catching the 2008 winning Superbowl pass with 35 seconds remaining, giving the Giants a surprise 17-14 victory over the New England Patriots.The Giants released Burress in the April after the nightclub incident.

Although the wide receiver has missed two seasons, Burress’ agent Drew Rosenhaus says he’s spoken to several teams and expects Burress to play in the NFL again.

“He’s going to be a top free-agent,” Rosenhaus said. “There are going to be multiple teams interested in signing him. I expect him to get a good contract. I expect him to absolutely be playing.”

After being drafted eighth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft, Burress went on to play five years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, amassing 261 receptions for 4,164 yards, 22 touchdowns, and six fumbles over the span of 71 games. Burress was featured on the MTV show True Life, documenting his rookie season.[2] He first broke the 1,000-yard mark in his second season, gaining 1,008 yards on 66 receptions. Burress’s best season with the Steelers came in 2002, when he set his career highs for receptions (78) and yards (1,325), to go along with seven touchdowns. Also in 2002, Burress played in his first career playoff game, accumulating six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown. In three subsequent playoff games with the Steelers, Burress totaled only seven receptions, 123 yards, and one touchdown.

Burress’s 1,008-yard season in 2001, combined with Hines Ward‘s 1,003 receiving yards, gave the Steelers their first pair of 1,000-yard receivers.[3][4] On November 10, 2002, Burress took advantage of an extra 15 minutes of play to set a Steelers franchise record with 253 receiving yards in a 34-34 tie against the Atlanta Falcons. He caught nine passes and scored two touchdowns in the game The two would combine to accomplish the same feat in 2002.