ROME, N.Y. (AP) — Former New York Giants star Plaxico Burress was released from prison on Monday after spending nearly two years behind bars on a gun charge and headed to Florida to be with his family as he contemplates his chances of playing again in the NFL.
As he left Oneida Correctional Facility in central New York Monday morning, he hugged agent Drew Rosenhaus and shook hands. He was wearing a black sweatshirt, black shorts, black sneakers and a Philadelphia Phillies hat.
"It's a beautiful day," Burress told reporters. "It's a beautiful day to be reunited with my family."
His release came nearly two years after he arrived at the medium-security prison. Burress, who turns 34 in August, planned to travel to his Florida home to spend time with his wife, son and a daughter born while he was in jail. He'll continue working out while awaiting a resolution of the NFL labor dispute, said his attorney, Peter M. Frankel.
Burress pleaded guilty in August 2009 to attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to two years in prison. He was released about three months early for good behavior.
The lanky 6-foot-5 receiver had the world at his feet after catching a 13-yard pass from Eli Manning with 35 seconds to play to give the Giants a stunning 17-14 win over the undefeated New England Patriots in the 2008 Super Bowl.
His world fell apart nine months later when he walked into a Manhattan nightclub with a handgun tucked in the waistband of his pants. The weapon slipped down and discharged as Burress tried to grab it, injuring him in the thigh.
The wound was not serious. The backlash was.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called for Burress to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and was irate that officials at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center treated Burress and failed to report the shooting, as required by law. A doctor who treated Burress was later suspended.
The gun was not licensed in New York or in New Jersey, where Burress lived. His license to carry a concealed weapon in Florida had expired in May 2008.
(Photo: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)