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Bucs Beat

Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

No consensus on Plaxico Burress' immediate future



Bucs coach Raheem Morris is on record saying the team is willing to consider free-agent WR Plaxico Burress if and when it the team is confident he can play in 2009.

With his trial on weapons charges in New York City likely postponed until 2010 after a hearing this morning, the situation has become more intriguing. Still, there's very little clarity here.

Burress is free to sign with any team right now. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has been throwing out information on Twitter all day, saying, among other things, "Now that the legal process is on hold we are hoping to have a deal in place with a team for Plex before training camps start." Burress' criminal attorney, Benjamin Brafman, said he saw no impediment to his client playing football this fall.

But NFL commissioner Roger Goodell could still attempt to suspend Burress if and when he is signed by a club. Of course, that decision likely would be met with a challenge from the players' union. Prior to a conviction, the league's collective bargaining agreement doesn't allow for suspensions for first-time offenders of the league's personal conduct policy unless they have caused bodily harm to someone else. So, it's possible the team that signs Burress could triumph against the league in such a situation.

But who needs the headache? That's the question an interested team must ask. And, furthermore, would adding Burress create an unnescessary distraction? This is not a cut-and-dried story, but it's one that will continue to unfold in the near future. The Jets and Bears also could be interested.

Remember, training camps -- including the Bucs' -- open in six weeks.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:34pm]


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