Burress can keep bonus money despite gun accident
By Sports Network
The Sports Network
An arbitrator ruled Monday that former New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress can keep a $1 million signing bonus despite being released following a gun accident.
Stephen Burbank ruled in favor of Burress that he must be paid the final $1 million from a $4.25 million signing bonus.
Burress was suspended for the final four games of the 2008 season and placed on the reserve/non-football injury list after he accidentally shot himself in the leg at a New York City night club on November 29. The 31-year- old subsequently surrendered to authorities and was arraigned on a pair of felony weapons charges. He was released last week.
"Today's decision by Professor Burbank again underscores a serious flaw in the current system," the NFL said in a statement. "It continues an unfortunate trend of permitting players who are suspended due to serious misconduct to nonetheless retain large bonus payments from their NFL teams. When clubs pay up front bonuses as part of a long-term deal, they do it on the assumption that the player's ability to play will not be limited by his own unlawful activities."
While Burbank, a University of Pennsylvania Special Master, made the ruling in favor of Burress, he also ruled that the salary of Kansas City running back Larry Johnson isn't guaranteed. Johnson was suspended for a game last year for a violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
Johnson would receive his full 2009 salary of $4.55 million if he plays the year for the Chiefs.