When Plaxico Burress was released by the Giants after the 2008 season, it seemed almost impossible he'd ever play with the team again. But the 33-year-old receiver, whose accidental self-shooting on Nov. 28, 2008, led to a two-year jail sentence on illegal weapons possession charges, is now willing to consider a return.
And so are the Giants.
Burress told the Star-Ledger last night that he plans to meet with Coughlin on Wednesday. It remains uncertain whether that meeting can take place, since teams aren't permitted to meet with free agents at their respective facilities until Friday. It's uncertain whether Burress and Coughlin can meet somewhere other than the Giants' Timex Perfomance Center complex. Teams can only meet with their own free agents before Friday.
"I really don’t know what I’m going to say," Burress said. "I’m just going to go in there tomorrow and speak from the heart, be truthful with him and let him know how I feel. Whatever comes out is going to come out. I’m pretty sure there are things [Coughlin] wants to say, too."
Burress said in an interview on ESPN last month that he didn't have "an ambivalent relationship [with Coughlin], to say the least. Some things I didn't agree with, with the way he went about things. And the only way to show my way was to just rebel. Is that who I am? No. It kind of felt it was like 'I'm the coach, you are the player. It doesn't matter what you have to say. You just do what I tell you to do.'
"This is not college," Burress said. "This is professional sports. If you can't sit down and go talk to a man that you are busting your tail for, not even have the respect for anything that you have to say, like I said, the only thing I knew then was to rebel."
Burress told the Star-Ledger that he understands the reaction to his comments. "It doesn't bother me at all," he said. "It's not like I wasn't telling the truth. All the things that I had to say, I’m pretty sure when we meet [Wednesday], when we sit down face-to-face, we’re going to lay it all on the table, man to man. That’s what this whole thing is about. That’s where I’m at. If there’s a time for everything to be let out, it’s now."
The Giants have a need at receiver with the uncertain status of Steve Smith, who is coming off major knee surgery. Smith set a franchise record with 107 catches in 2009, but underwent microfracture surgery last season.
Giants co-owner John Mara said in an interview on Monday's "The Michael Kay Show" on 1050 ESPN on Monday that the team would consider signing Burress.
"I think that’s certainly something we’re going to talk about and have talked about," he said. "Where that goes, I don’t know."
Burress told the Star-Ledger that he only plans to visit face-to-face wtih the Giants. He is also talking to the Texans, Rams and Bears.
"I’m not going to travel all over the world," he said.
Are the Giants the favorites to sign him?
"I'm not sure," Burress said. "I do love New York. My fan base here has been great to me. But it’s not just about football; there are just a lot of things that go into it. But after this I’ll know a lot more. Without a doubt, without question."