Thursday, March 3, 2011
Updated: March 4, 6:24 PM ET
Brandon Jacobs touts Plaxico Burress
By Ohm Youngmisuk
NEW YORK -- Brandon Jacobs knows exactly how the New York Giants can get back to the playoffs and return to title contender status.
The Giants running back said Thursday the team should bring back Plaxico Burress once he is released from prison in June.
State prison system spokeswoman Linda Foglia said officials decided Friday that Burress was eligible for time off for good behavior, so he can be freed after serving 21 months of his two-year sentence. His release date is set for June 6.
Jacobs agreed with teammate Osi Umenyiora, who said the Giants have not been the same team since Burress accidentally shot himself in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub on Nov. 28, 2008. Burress was sentenced to two years in prison on gun charges in 2009. The Giants have missed the playoffs the past two seasons without him.
"No question," Jacobs said Thursday by telephone from Orlando while attending ESPN The Weekend. "If Plax comes back, that puts us back at the top of the league, ASAP, no question.
"He's a dominating wideout and we have a great running game, we have Hakeem Nicks. ... I think it's great if we can add Plax and make things happen. Actually I think we can kill people in the National Football League with that style of football."
General manager Jerry Reese has said that he will contact Burress shortly after he is released and investigate the possibility of the receiver playing for the team like he would in any free-agent situation. Coach Tom Coughlin said last week at the NFL scouting combine that he hasn't spent much time thinking of or talking about a Plaxico reunion and didn't want to say much else about the issue.
Jacobs also has his own future to worry about. He has two years remaining on his contract and is slated to earn $4.65 million in 2011 and $4.9 million in 2012. Reese has said that re-signing starting running back Ahmad Bradshaw is a top priority.
"The whole thing with Ahmad and me, I want to be a Giant, no question about it," Jacobs said. "But it is a business and I want to be able to play with Ahmad and play with the Giants, but I don't know what is in store, I don't know what is going to happen. So I keep my fingers crossed and work out as hard as I can and hope I am a Giant next year."
Jacobs said he would be open to the idea of a paycut as long as it is fair to him and his family.
"Nothing is going to happen until the CBA stuff gets done," Jacobs said. "And if they happen to ask to take the pay cut and it is an unnecessary amount, then absolutely not. But other than that, if it is something that can be done, then yes, then whatever is going to get the team going and winning."
"But once you take off an astronomical amount, that is not going to happen," he continued. "I'd be open to it as long as it is fair to me."
One thing Jacobs doesn't want to consider is the idea of Burress, another of his best friends, making his comeback elsewhere. Both Jacobs and Umenyiora believe the wide receiver, who turns 34 in August, is poised for a big comeback despite not having played in a game since November 2008.
"He wants to play football," Jacobs said. "He has other options, no doubt about that which I knew would happen. He doesn't have to come back to the Giants, if the Giants don't want him. ... Then he can go somewhere else and that somewhere else, the Giants may not like, whether someone else may care or not."
Quarterback Eli Manning has said that if the Giants believe Burress will come back focused and committed, it could be a good thing for the team. While Burress played through injuries, he reportedly was fined numerous times for violating team rules.
Jacobs believes Burress, though, will return a "changed" man.
"I talk to Plax every week, sometimes two, three times a week," Jacobs said. "He is a changed person. He knows what he's done, he has served his time for it, he has paid his debt to society and now he is out to start a new career and take care of his family."
Jacobs, who sometimes wore a "Free Plaxico" shirt in the locker room during the season, just hopes Burress writes his next chapter with the Giants.
"I think our peers are all open to getting him back," Jacobs said of his teammates. "I don't know what the opinion is high up [in the front office]. I don't know what they think upstairs about bringing him back. He's a free agent again and he has options. If we don't get him, we don't get him, but I just want him."
Ohm Youngmisuk covers the Giants for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.