Plaxico Burress is spending his final hours in prison Monday morning.
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The former Giants receiver is expected to be released from Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y., sometime between 7 and 11 a.m. Monday after serving 21 months for accidentally shooting himself with an unlicensed gun in a Manhattan nightclub 2 1/2 years ago.
For the first time in a long time, Burress once again will be an open receiver. The incident that occurred in November 2008 at the Latin Quarter finally will be behind him like so many NFL cornerbacks during his playing career.
"I'm all the way excited for that," Brandon Jacobs, Burress' closest friend on the Giants, said at an event late last week. "I'm super-happy for him, super- happy for his family. His kids were over my house a couple of days ago and his wife seemed super-happy and his kids were happy. It's a good thing."
Justin Tuck, another Giants teammate of Burress, also has spent time recently with Burress' wife, Tiffany, and their two young children, including a daughter who was born while Burress was incarcerated.
"I'm excited for him," Tuck said. "It's well overdue."
Burress had his sentence trimmed by three months for good behavior. His parole will be transferred to Florida, New York corrections spokeswoman Linda Foglia said, and Burress is expected to fly there shortly after his release.
In Florida, where Burress has a residence, Foglia said he'll have to undergo substance-abuse testing, maintain a curfew, support his dependents, attend any counseling deemed necessary by Florida officials and get a job.
That last one may have to wait a little while longer.
When Burress was sent to prison for two years, the big question was whether the NFL would be willing to give him another chance when he became a free man. Today, there is no NFL for him to return to. The league is in a lockout just as Burress is getting out of lockdown.
Eventually, though, Burress most likely will wind up in an NFL training camp as a wide receiver. Last week, Jacobs took a black permanent marker and crossed the Giants off the list of potential landing spots for Burress. "No chance," he said of a return to the team he helped win Super Bowl XLII. "None."
The Eagles, Rams, Jets, Redskins and others could provide comfy situations for Burress if they turn out to be interested.
But today, there will be no more comfortable place for Burress than in the arms of his family, seeing his wife again, holding his daughter for the first time as a free man.
"It's a good thing for him to be coming home and being able to finish this thing off," Jacobs said. "He's going past home," Jacobs added, a reference to Burress flying over his past life in New Jersey and New York and touching down in the Sunshine State.