Around the NFL
Hope for Vick...and Burress?
Posted Jul. 21 at 11:12 PM
When NFL commissioner Roger Goodell threw the book at receiver Donte Stallworth a few weeks back, hitting him with an indefinite suspension for his DUI manslaughter conviction, the popular belief was that Goodell's tough penalty was bad news for Michael Vick and Plaxico Burress. Given Vick's crimes and Burress's nightclub shooting incident, those players were unlikely to receive any leniency, either.
So now that there are reports suggesting Goodell might opt for a "conditional reinstatement" for Vick, allowing him to play in the league this season, isn't it reasonable to think it could be good news for Burress?
According to this ESPN report, Goodell could meet with Vick as soon as this week. (One wonders if the NFL is hoping its decision occurs at a different time than Brett Favre's official return to the league, so as to spread out the football news in this otherwise slow time, or at the same time, so as the publicity for what could be a controversial decision will be diluted.) Goodell also plans to meet with Burress "at some point in the near future" according to this report in the New York Daily News.
If Vick does indeed get a conditional reinstatement, allowing him to join a team for training camp, what of Burress? Unlike Vick, Burress' legal issues are still pending. The commissioner has previously said he'd wait until they were resolved before ruling, but in the past he has passed judgment prior to any legal resolution. If so, Burress could be suspended for a portion of the season -- but would still be eligible to sign with a team and participate in the preseason.
Such talk might be moot; the cases are different, and as of yet any thought that Vick might be reinstated is just speculation. Still, it will be interesting to see how Goodell rules, and not just what it could mean for Vick's future, but for Burress. Certainly there are several teams who could use Burress, with the Ravens perhaps moving to the head of the list in the wake of Derrick Mason's recent (apparent) retirement.
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