Former Spartan Burress Misses Practice

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Plaxico Burress missed the New York Giants' first two training camp practices on Friday with an ankle injury while his agent spoke with the Super Bowl champions about renegotiating his contract.
"There is no connection," agent Drew Rosenhaus said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press when asked if Burress was sitting out because of the contract problems.
Burress, who caught a late game-winning 13-yard touchdown pass in the Super Bowl, refused to practice during a minicamp in June until the team gave him a new contract. He was fined about $25,000.
He has three years remaining 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.
Burress refused to comment after the morning practice at the University at Albany. He spent most of the practices either riding a stationary bike or standing on the field watching the workouts.
Coach Tom Coughlin had said on Thursday that Burress would be limited to one practice a day because of an ankle injury but the team's leading receiver told him on Friday morning that he would not be able to practice.
Meanwhile, Rosenhaus met with assistant general manager Kevin Abrams on Friday morning in Albany.
"We've been in discussions," Rosenhaus said. "The discussions are ongoing. We are hoping to get this resolved. We had hoped to get this resolved before training camp."
Rosenhaus said nothing was imminent on a new contract.
Burress lags well behind some of the league's top receivers in terms of pay. 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.
Teammates insisted the contract issue was between Burress and the team. They also weren't worried about his injury, noting the nine-year veteran led the team with 70 catches for 1,025 yards and a career-high 12 touchdowns despite playing with a season-long ankle injury.
Burress has caught 209 passes as a Giant, leading the team in catches in two of his three seasons.
Middle linebacker Antonio Pierce said that players have to take care of their families first, adding that almost every player is not satisfied with their contract.
"He (Burress) is obviously not healthy enough to be out there," Pierce said. "He proved that he can play when he is not healthy. Why would you want to do that every season? When you get up in age that is not going to work for you every season."
Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning noted that Burress barely practiced last season and had an outstanding year.
"Hopefully, it won't come to that this year, that he'll get back and get healthy and get going," the quarterback said. "That will all work itself out."
The Giants are deep at receiver with veteran Amani Toomer and three young receivers -- Sinorice Moss, Steve Smith and rookie Mario Manningham.
Toomer and Moss both caught long passes in the morning practice, with Manning hitting Toomer on his first pass of the training camp.
Defensive end Osi Umenyiora felt the differences between the Giants and Burress would be resolved.
He said: "We have all the confidence in Plaxico Burress that when it is time to be ready to go, he'll be ready to go."


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