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Giants Journal

The Giants blog for Lower Hudson Valley fans.

Siriusly, John!


Sirius Radio just sent me the excerpts of an interview Giants co-owner John Mara had on Chris “Maddog” Russo’s show about our favorite errant and now former wide receiver. Here’s the transcript.

Host, Chris Russo: “Mayor Bloomberg said the Giants were somewhat negligent in not reporting [the Burress shooting] right away. He came down hard on the Giants. What are your thoughts about that?”

John Mara: “He did 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.”

Russo: “You wavered for awhile [on Burress]. You were fairly supportive of letting Burress return. Jerry Reese said never say never. The Giants almost considered it. Should the Giants not even have considered it? Should, after that incident, the Giants have not even considered bringing Burress back to the ballclub in 2009?”

Mara: “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.”

Russo: “It’s hard to believe that Plaxico Burress would not respond to Jerry Reese. I mean, here’s a guy that can’t get out of his own way, his career is in limbo and your general manager, one of the better ones in the league, tries to track him down and he doesn’t respond?”

Mara: “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.”

Russo: “How in the world does an arbiter decide to award Burress the $1 million Giant bonus that I guess was due at the end of the year? He didn’t play. He’s the reason he didn’t play. It wasn’t like he got hurt. It wasn’t like this wasn’t his fault. He took a loaded gun into a bar and it went off and you lose a $1 million bonus. That is absurd.”

Mara: “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 [unintell].“

Russo: “Could you argue that if the Giants would have acted quicker you could have made a move on some of these free agent wide receivers, whether it is [TJ] Houshmanzadeh or maybe make a move to get [Anquan] Boldin who is under contract? Could the Giants have acted somewhat quicker if you moved a little quicker in the off-season on Burress?”

Mara: “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.”

Russo: “Let me ask it this way: If there was a huge receiver out there that you were interested in would you have then cut Burress quicker?”

Mara: “I would say that would have been a possibility, yes.”

Russo: “So the availability of no great receivers made you…”

Mara: “I think, Chris, 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.”

Russo: “We can kill Burress all you want but you’re not winning that third Super Bowl without Plaxico’s performance against the Packers [in the NFC Championship Game].”

Mara: “There’s no question about that, Chris. 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.’”


This entry was posted on Thursday, April 9th, 2009 at 6:58 pm by Ernie Palladino. |
Category: Uncategorized