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Plaxico Burress accepts plea bargain

Former Giants receiver faces two years in prison for weapons charges.

August 21, 2009|Associated Press

Facing the prospect of spending at least 3 1/2 years behind bars, onetime Super Bowl star Plaxico Burress on Thursday accepted a plea bargain with a two-year prison sentence for accidentally shooting himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub.

The former New York Giants wide receiver pleaded guilty to one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a lesser charge than he had faced. He will be sentenced Sept. 22, and lawyer Benjamin Brafman said he expects Burress to begin serving his sentence immediately after.

Burress, 32, left without speaking to reporters outside the courthouse, but Brafman said, "After an agonizing period of discussion, Plaxico decided that he wanted to do this, to put this behind him as quickly as possible."

The former football star was indicted this month on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment.

Hours after his court appearance, the NFL announced Commissioner Roger Goodell had suspended Burress and said he is ineligible to sign with any team until he completes his jail term. Goodell, who met with Burress and his representatives last week, said Burress will be reinstated upon completion of his sentence.

With time off for good behavior, Burress probably will serve 20 months. He will be monitored during an additional two years after his release, which could come as early as the spring of 2011.

Roethlisberger hurt

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger injured his right ankle or foot during the last half-hour of the team's final training camp practice. It was not immediately certain how badly he was hurt or how long he would be out.

Roethlisberger had an ice pack on the back of the ankle when he was carted off at the end of Thursday's workout, with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians accompanying him. Roethlisberger didn't talk to reporters, but he could be overheard saying, "Oh, it just feels great. It feels like a car ran over it."

Coach Mike Tomlin declined to talk to reporters. Team spokesman Dave Lockett said only, "Someone stepped on his foot, and we don't have any updates other than that."

As the Steelers' starting offense practiced against the starting defense, left tackle Max Starks couldn't handle a rush from linebacker James Harrison, the 2008 NFL defensive player of the year. Starks went down to one knee as he tripped Roethlisberger, who stayed on the turf for about five minutes.

Talib out on bail

Tampa Bay cornerback Aqib Talib was held out of practice after police said he punched a taxi driver and was jailed on charges of simple battery and resisting arrest without violence.

The Buccaneers said the second-year pro, who fought with a teammate during last year's NFL rookie symposium and then had another confrontation with a teammate this off-season, would not be suspended by the team.

Instead the club referred the matter to the league.

Talib posted $300 bail early Thursday. A Florida Highway Patrol arrest report said the 23-year-old punched a cabdriver in the neck and ear after he picked up Talib and two other men outside a St. Petersburg nightclub.

Exhibitions

With Cincinnati kicker Shayne Graham nursing a tender groin, receiver Chad Ochocinco booted an extra point late in the first half -- a point that gave the Bengals a 7-6 win over the New England Patriots at Foxborough, Mass. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was knocked down twice on his 13 snaps, but he got up quickly both times, his left knee passing the test after surgery that followed a season-ending knee injury in last year's opener. . . . Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 23-15 victory over visiting Philadelphia. Manning completed 10 of 14 passes for 167 yards.

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