I'm filing this one in the "Yes, that might possibly be somewhere near the truth" category for now, but I think it's interesting enough to pass along anyway.
It comes (via Pro Football Talk) from Bob Papa, play-by-play guy for the Giants and the NFL Network, and also the host of "The Opening Drive" on Sirius NFL radio. He's apparently heard some things about Plaxico Burress(notes) and the charges pending against him, and shared them on the radio this morning.
“This is what I’ve been told and what I’ve heard,” Papa said on the air. “They worked out something where they had it down to about a three-month jail term with actually only two months served and about 1,500 hours of community service. And I think his lawyers felt that they had a pretty good deal. He doesn’t want to go to jail at all. He shot down the deal. . . . He does not want to go to jail at all. So now coming up in another couple of weeks we’re gonna find out what’s gonna happen. But my guess is that the city of New York is not gonna back off any kind of jail time.
“Evidently, he’s gonna have to go to Ryker’s [sic] Island,” Papa added. “He’s deathly afraid of going. . . . [I]f he would have just taken the deal when it originally was offered it would all be over with by now. But supposedly the community service hours and the jail time are not appealing to him. He does not understand that he is not in any kind of position of leverage. He has no leverage. He — not his representatives — he thinks he has leverage.”
Again, I'd be careful about accepting this as complete and total truth right now. Bob Papa's a reputable guy, and I've got no reason to doubt him, and if he feels confident enough to go on the air with this, maybe that says something. But at the same time, it's something he's heard, and the only two people who really know what's going on between Burress and his lawyer are Burress and his lawyer.
If it is true, though, Plax could be on the verge of a colossal mistake. If he said no to two months of something he's "deathly afraid of" and ended up with three-and-a-half years of something he's "deathly afraid of" ... how big of a mistake would that be? It's barely even possible to make a mistake bigger than that.
Whatever happens, I hope Plaxico ends up making the right choice, whatever that is. I can't blame the guy for being deathly afraid of Rikers Island. It's supposed to be terrifying. That's kind of the point.