Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Giants: Burress update

I am sure you already know, so this is not a news flash for you, but the Burress case has been postponed until June 15. Brafman, Burress lawyer, is apparently trying to negotiate a deal with the NY DA that will avoid jail time completely and the NY DA is insisting on some jail time. That part you already know, because it has been reported copiously in the media.

My take on this is simple. There is now virtually no chance that Burress will play in 2009. His only hope was that this would get resolved quickly, and that the resolution would involve little or no jail time, that he would get a minimal suspension by the NFL and therefore could theoretically return by around midseason. The court date, where he enters his plea, having been postponed to June, now gives the two sides time to work out a plea arrangement, but I don't think this delay helps Burress. Obviously, a deal could be closed at any moment, but the longer it goes before a deal is made, the less likely it is that Burress will play this year.

If the DA absolutely insists on some jail time, I don't know what leverage Burress has with which to negotiate. The facts in the case seem pretty clear and are not in great dispute. The only thing Burress has on his side is that it will be very costly for NYS to prosecute, he has a very good lawyer, and NYS might actually lose the case if it goes to trial. Doesn't sound like much, but even if that is the Burress side's leverage, NYS could still insist on a minimal sentence of 6 months and 1 year's probation, which is not an unreasonable offer. It just so happens that for someone who is a professional athlete, missing one year of playing time can never be regained and probably will cost him $7M or so.

To me it looks like a very high probability that if Burress puts on a helmet ever again, it will not be in the 2009 season.

No comments: