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John Mara says Giants had to ax Plaxico Burress

BY Ohm Youngmisuk

DAILY NEWS SPORTS WRITER

 

Friday, April 10th 2009, 12:40 AM

 

amd_plax-court.jpg

(DelMundo for News Plaxico Burress leaves court last month.) Speaking for the first time since the Giants released Plaxico Burress, John Mara said the team had had enough of the troubled wide receiver.

 

Mara revealed Thursday that the Giants had attempted to reach Burress repeatedly with no success, which angered the team president and CEO.

 

"I know (general manager) Jerry Reese had attempted to contact him on a number of occasions and was not able to get a hold of him, which to be honest with you irritated me quite a bit," Mara said as a guest on Chris Russo's "Mad Dog Unleashed" show on Sirius XM Radio.. "I was fairly certain, to be honest with you, that at the end of the '08 season that he was probably not coming back to us. But we felt like there was no reason to make that decision until we got all the facts and circumstances, which we hoped to have by this hearing date that recently took place, but when that got postponed, we felt enough was enough, we can't keep waiting on this."

 

Mara also made it clear he was not happy with Mayor Bloomberg's initial criticism of the Giants and how the mayor thought they should have been more proactive in calling and informing New York City police after Burress accidentally shot himself last Nov. 29.

 

"I told (Bloomberg) that I took real exception to those (comments)," Mara said. "We reported that incident as soon as we found out (to) NFL security, and NFL security did notify NYPD. Any notion that there was any kind of attempt to cover this up is just ridiculous, and I told the mayor that I didn't appreciate his comments on that and he had his facts wrong. But that is in the past."

 

Even though Mara did not expect Burress to return for the coming season, he said the Giants wanted to see how Burress' legal case would progress before making a decision. Mara said that if the Giants had identified a wide receiver they wanted in free agency, they would have gone after that receiver despite not having made a decision on Burress. Shortly after Burress' court case was delayed on March31, the Giants released the wide receiver, who is facing two felony counts of criminal possession of a loaded and unlicensed weapon. The Giants and Burress were also involved in an arbitration battle over the terms of his contract and the punishment he received from the team in November. Burress, who told friends at last weekend's Final Four that he expects everything to work out, won the final $1 million payment of a $4.25 million signing bonus that the Giants withheld back in December.

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Yeah agree on Mayor For Life Papa Doc Bloomberg...just trying to chisel out some more votes by playing the pampered athlete angle. But Mayor Papa Doc....who gets more pampered than a billionaire like yourself? I doubt very much someone of your lofty station would be charged if they had a tactical nuke in the trunk of their limo...just saying is all. ;)

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April 11, 2009

 

Mara unplugged and "unleashed" on Plax

While Giants GM Jerry Reese was telling the world the Giants would welcome Plaxico Burress back, his bosses were oddly silent on the matter. And they remained silent even after the troubled receiver was released.

 

On Thursday afternoon, co-owner John Mara broke that silence in an interview with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo on Sirius/XM radio’s Mad Dog Unleashed. Here (a couple of days late) is a partial transcript of what Mara had to say:

 

• On New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s harsh criticism of the Giants for not immediately reporting the Burress shooting: “He did (come down hard on the Giants) and I told him that I took real exception to those statements. We reported that incident as soon as we found out about it to NFL security, which is what we’re supposed to do, and NFL security did notify the NYPD. And there’s a dispute as to when exactly that happened but as I understand the facts they notified them in a timely [manner]. And there was some miscommunication about what hospital he was in but any notion that there was any kind of attempt to cover this up is just ridiculous and I told the mayor that I didn’t appreciate his comments on that and that he had his facts wrong. But that’s in the past.”

 

• On whether the Giants should not have even considered bringing Burress back after what he did: “Well, I can understand people feeling that way. What we had decided to do was, let’s wait and see what happens when he makes his court appearance, the one that just occurred in the last week or two, let’s see what the outcome of that is and we don’t have to make any decision prior to that. Let’s just wait and see what happens when we have all the facts and let’s see exactly what we’re dealing with. Unfortunately, the case was postponed again so we felt like that would continue to leave us in limbo. We were attempting to settle one of the two grievances out there with him, one of which was decided in his favor just the other day, and we were not having much success in those settlement discussions and we just felt like enough was enough and it’s time to just move on. Jerry Reese had attempted to contact him on a number of occasions and was not able to get a hold of him which, to be honest with you, irritated me quite a bit.”

 

• On it being hard to believe that Burress wouldn’t respond to Reese’s attempts to reach him: “That’s correct and I just felt, given all those circumstances, given the fact that we weren’t going to know about his legal status for quite some time, we just felt like the time was right to just move on and go in a different direction.”

 

• On what Russo called the “absurd” decision by the arbitrator last week to award Burress the final $1 million payment of his signing bonus that the Giants had withheld: “We agree and it was based on the special master’s interpretation of the language in the collective bargaining agreement and specifically his interpretation of the term ‘willful.’ It was our contention that when somebody carries a loaded gun into a nightclub like that there are certain consequences that you have to be responsible for. The gun goes off and he ends up missing the rest of the season. To us, that was tantamount to a willful action. Obviously, the special master felt otherwise. That’s one of the reasons we need to get a new and improved collective bargaining agreement because you can’t have situations like that. The players union argued, one of the arguments that I read about, was if a guy went out in a car and the car had bad brakes and he ended up being in an accident that’s not willful conduct on his part. I just thought that was a ridiculous [decision].”

 

• On whether the Giants could have made a move to get TJ Houshmanzadeh or Anquan Boldin if they had made a quicker decision on Burress: “No, I don’t think so. We obviously looked at the receivers that were out there and made a decision that we were not going to actively pursue any of them.”

 

• On whether the Giants would have moved quicker on Burress if there was a “huge receiver” out there that they liked: “I would say that would have been a possibility, yes. … I think it was more the circumstances. The court date was coming up. I was fairly certain, to be honest with you, at the end of the ’08 season that he was probably not coming back to us. We felt like there was no reason to make that decision until we had all the facts and circumstances which we hoped to have by this hearing date that recently took place. But when that got postponed we just felt like enough was enough, we can’t keep waiting on this. But if we had felt a month ago that there was a receiver out there that we really wanted we still would have gone after him and then we still would have had a decision to make on Plaxico. So his status really didn’t have any effect on that decision at all.”

 

• On Burress’ contributions to the Giants’ Super Bowl run two years ago: “There’s no question about that. In my opinion we do not win the Super Bowl in the ’07 season without him being there. He was arguably our most valuable player. And he’s a tremendous talent and that’s the crime of it all. He really has a lot of talent. He can be one of the great players in this league. If he was able to stay here and continue his career here and stay out of trouble, I mean, it would have been billboards in Times Square with his picture on it. I think he’s that good and had that much charisma and everything so that’s why it was a particularly tough decision for us to have to part ways. But there just comes a point in time as an organization where you have to make a decision and say, ‘Enough is enough. We’ve got to move on.’”

 

By Ralph Vacchiano on April 11, 2009 7:22 AM

 

OOOOPS did Mara just show our hand 2 weeks before draft day?

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yep, which is the prefect scenario for the Giants to move up and grab that DE/DT from Texas...

 

 

Right, which makes perfect sense.

 

I mean, especially after the Giants signed Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty to huge contracts

and with Osi coming back...that truly is the perfect pick. When is he going to play? Shit, he won't

make it past the Browns at the 5th pick.

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Right, which makes perfect sense.

 

I mean, especially after the Giants signed Rocky Bernard and Chris Canty to huge contracts

and with Osi coming back...that truly is the perfect pick. When is he going to play? Shit, he won't

make it past the Browns at the 5th pick.

 

You're finally catching on :TU:

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