Giants take care of Burress with new deal

September, 4, 2008
9/04/08
9:24
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- About two and a half weeks ago in Albany, Giants GM Jerry Reese promised that he'd hammer out a deal with wide receiver Plaxico Burress before the season. That's probably why you didn't hear any complaints from Burress as that deadline approached.

I didn't think Reese would wait this long, but the fact that kickoff was three hours away finally gave both sides the urgency they needed. The two sides have been fairly close for weeks. Burress' agent Drew Rosenhaus took a break from making Youtube videos and showed up at training camp, where he and Reese had some productive sessions.

Burress felt like he should get paid in the same range as Randy Moss and Terrell Owens and by receiving $11 million in the first year of the five-year, $35 million contract, he's at least in the ballpark.

Quarterback Eli Manning told me how frustrated he was by Burress sitting out most of training camp because he felt like they had a lot of work to do. However, it doesn't seem like they've missed a beat.

Reese is an excellent negotiator because he never takes anything personally. When Michael Strahan took some shots at him last offseason, Reese never retaliated. When Jeremy Shockey engaged in a shouting match with him during a summer minicamp, Reese refused to divulge any details. There's a built-in adversarial relationship between management and players, but Reese knows how to take the edge off.

The only downside to winning a Super Bowl for him was that everyone in the organization felt like they deserved a raise. He took care of several players, although Justin Tuck probably wishes he'd waited a couple of weeks.

"It's a good problem to have," Reese said recently.

On Thursday, the Giants did what they had to do. They rewarded a player who's been a huge part of their success. The Giants were going to get this thing done no matter what, but doing it hours before the first game was a nice touch.

If a few more dollars give Burress peace of mind, something tells me he'll be a little more willing to strap on the orthotics and play through pain.

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