Burress finally folds, headed to prison

Posted by ESPN.com's Matt Mosley

In the strange world that Plaxico Burress lived in, he believed that someone would always be there to clean up his mess. But the shot heard 'round the Latin Quarter last November created a situation that not even a Super Bowl hero could overcome.

On Thursday, Burress did what he probably should've done months ago, pleading guilty to a weapons charge and agreeing to a two-year prison term. His sentencing is set for Sept. 22, but he'd be wise to get a head start behind bars. Burress will be 34 when he's released. Who knows if he'll be able to help an NFL team at that point.

By all indications, Burress could've pleaded to a similar deal several months ago. Instead, he decided to gamble on testifying before a grand jury, a strategy that backfired when he was indicted on two counts of criminal possession of a weapon and one count of reckless endangerment.

Judging by his actions over the past nine months, Burress was never able to grasp the reality of his situation. On Thursday, he began dealing with the reality that he'd run out of alternatives. If he'd gone to trial, there was the distinct possibility of him receiving more than three years in prison.

So just as one high-profile player resumes his career following a two-year prison sentence, another one's headed to the slammer. I think Michael Vick could have three or four productive seasons left. My gut tells me that Burress' career is over.

I'll try to track down a Giants player or two this afternoon to get their reaction. I know that Justin Tuck considered Burress a good friend and teammate. I think there will be a lot of sadness coming from the Giants organization.