National Football League Blogcast, NFL Blogcast
The N.Y. Giants have suspended receiver Plaxico Burress one game for missing a workout earlier in the week. The suspension took effect immediately, meaning Plax will not be allowed to return to team activities until the day after the Seattle Seahawks game on October 5. The Giants are on a bye this week, so Plax will actually miss two paychecks, totaling $235,294.12 of his $2 million annual base salary. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Plax had an “undisclosed family emergency.” So, they’re appealing the suspension.
Here’s the real deal. Plax didn’t call to let the Giants know about his family emergency — or ask permission for the day off because of a family emergency. So, ultimately he’s responsible and needs to accept the punishment. Drew Rosenhaus claims that Plax spoke with Giants special assistant Charles Way on Monday evening (after the fact), but added there was “miscommunication” between the player and the team. Whatever. Had he simply let the team know what was going on, this whole situation could have been averted. Over $235,000 is a lot of money to lose for not making a phone call. I have to say, I admire the Giants for standing firm and not giving special treatment to one of their star players. It sends a message that everyone on the team is equal and is expected to follow the rules. Head coach Tom Coughlin said:
“We have had success here because of the team concept. And the team concept means basically that everyone is accountable and responsible and that we don’t let the other guys down. And that is what we are trying to do.”
I love it. Taking two game checks from Plax is a bit much, but I think the Giants were right-on in their decision. Plax is undoubtedly one of the best receivers in the game and he’s off to a good start this season (18 catches, 259 yards and a touchdown) after signing a two-year contract extension right before the season-opener against Washington. He plays hurt and he plays hard. But he has to know better. It’s common sense if you can’t make it to work, you need some kind of excuse and you need to properly communicate that excuse. You don’t just not show up. Duh.