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Plaxico Burress To Be Released From Prison, But NFL Future Unclear

Former Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress is set to leave prison on Monday after serving a 20-month sentence, the result of an incident in which he shot himself with his own gun in a nightclub. 

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His future in football is uncertain, but much more importantly, it should be an emotional moment for the Burress family:

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Burress went to prison in September 2009. His son, Elijah, is now 4. Although Elijah has spoken to his father on the phone every night for 30 minutes, Burress's daughter, Giovanna, was born while he was incarcerated.

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Burress has seen her on visits that his wife has made to the prison, yet Tiffany Burress has joked in interviews that while her son is in his father's image in looks and in shyness, Giovanna is in her image—bold, tough and "absolutely a woman."

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As for football, it won't be clear what happens to Burress until after the NFL Lockout is over. There have been rumblings around town about a possible return to Pittsburgh, but that's very unlikely - the Steelers currently have a star receiver in Mike Wallace and three more competent ones in Hines Ward, Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown. Also, there's the question of whether Burress will even turn out to be an NFL-caliber receiver at this point. He's 33 - past the age when most wide receivers begin to decline - and has spent two years in the clink. Some NFL team will surely take a chance on him, but I wouldn't bet on that team being the Steelers, and I wouldn't bet on Burress being productive.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.