Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Unhappy with deal, Burress refuses to practice; Shockey shows up
ESPN.com news services
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Plaxico Burress isn't going to practice with the New York Giants until the Super Bowl champions give him a new contract.
Burress reported to the Giants' mandatory minicamp on Wednesday but refused to work out because he was not happy with the way contract negotiations are progressing between the team and agent Drew Rosenhaus.
Coach Tom Coughlin had indicated after practice that Burress did not work out because of a knee injury, but the receiver said he was healthy.
"Me and my agent are trying to get a deal done so I can stay a New York Giant for a long time," Burress said. "I, personally, don't like the way they're going and I am not happy about it. I am choosing not to participate."
General manager Jerry Reese refused to comment, saying it was an internal matter.
Meanwhile, tight end Jeremy Shockey showed up for minicamp Wednesday, despite hints he had made last weekend with the New York media that he might skip it.
Shockey, who didn't participate in drills, headed for treatment with Giants trainers for the broken leg he suffered last season.
Burress, who caught a game-winning 13-yard touchdown pass with 35 seconds remaining in the Super Bowl to give the Giants a 17-14 win over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots, has three years remaining on his six-year, $25 million deal. He will earn $3.25 million this year, $3.5 million in 2009 and $3.75 million in 2010.
"I'm not saying I'm being mistreated," Burress said. "Everybody wants to be treated fairly."
By current standards, Burress is being underpaid.
Terrell Owens of Dallas and Randy Moss of New England recently signed three-year contracts for $27 million, while Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals got a four-year, $40 million contract with a $30 million guarantee.
"This is only my ninth season," Burress said. "I'm in the prime years of my career. I know I can play stellar football for at least another four or five more years."
Despite playing with a season-long ankle injury and a knee problem in the postseason, Burress had a team-high 70 catches for 1,025 yards and a career-best 12 touchdown catches. He has caught 209 passes as a Giant, leading the team in catches in two of his three seasons.
Burress and Eli Manning have combined for 29 touchdown catches since 2005, the most by a receiver-quarterback tandem in the league during that time.
"Last year was one of the most frustrating years I've been through," Burress said. "I sit back and look at myself, if I can go out and do the things I did, basically on one leg, and a half a knee in the Super Bowl, what type of performance am I going to give when I'm 100 percent?"
Burress said contract talks with the team started a month ago.
Speaking on a conference call, Rosenhaus said he does not like to discuss ongoing negotiations.
"We are hoping to get something worked out in the near future," he said.
Burress said that the Giants have known that he was unhappy with his contract so it should not have surprised them that he did not practice. He said he did not tell Coughlin that he would not be working out.
The Giants have a history of renegotiating contracts. Coughlin received a new $21 million contract after the Super Bowl.
Reese got $4 million of salary cap space to play with after Michael Strahan retired this week, but he still has to work out contracts for guard Chris Snee and halfback Brandon Jacobs. Pro Bowl defensive end Osi Umenyiora also hinted that he wants a new deal.
Burress did not think that the Giants could fine him because he reported to the minicamp. He refused to say whether he would report to training camp in July if his contract issue had not been settled, but the smile seemed to indicate that he would hold out.
"We have been trying to handle it with class," Burress said. "We have been trying to do it the right way. Sometimes you just got stand up for what's right."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.