Will Plaxico Burress Follow in Michael Vick's Footsteps?

Plaxico Burress Released from Federal Prison

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Michael Vick, 2006
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Michael Vick, 2006

Plaxico Burress, the former New York Giants player, left federal prison Monday after spending 22 months on a weapons charge related to a shooting at a nightclub in 2008. If you remember, Burress shot himself in the thigh in an accidental shooting at the Manhattan nightclub, reports ESPN.

There have been many professional athletes who have spent time in jail, or even prison, and most do not return to an illustrious career. Currently, Burress is a free agent in the NFL, and there is speculation that the Philadelphia Eagles might be interested. After all, they do have Michael Vick.

Speaking of Vick, there are a few professional athletes who have continued to play their sport after a stint in jail. Can Plaxico Burress do the same? He is only 34 years old, but he hasn't played football for the last two years. We'll have to wait and see. In the meantime, here are three athletes who have done time and come back to play the game.

Michael Vick

Vick is a well known NFL player who is infamous for pleading guilty to federal charges relating to a dog fighting investigation. Even people who aren't sports fans seem to know about the incident; animal lovers are especially not too fond of the guy. Vick was lucky in finding a mentor in former Colts coach Tony Dungy. Dungy visited with Vick in Leavenworth prison in 2009, and has stayed in touch since his release, according to the Associated Press.

Vick signed with the Philadelphia Eagles less than a month after his release. Dungy thinks that Vick is now "on a straight path." He did start work with the Humane Society to stop organized animal fighting, and he had an excellent season with the Eagles as the starting quarterback in 2010.

Jamal Lewis

Lewis was a running back with the Baltimore Ravens when he spent four months in prison for charges related to a drug deal in 2005, according to SportsLine.com Lewis was suspended by the NFL for two games, but was then able to return to the Baltimore Ravens. He went on to play for the Cleveland Browns, and retired in 2010. After retirement, Lewis bought the Fort Rapids Indoor Waterpark Resort in Columbus, Ohio. Just recently, he purchased the Maui Sands Resort and hopes to reopen it soon. Sounds like he's doing pretty well, considering.

Jose Canseco

Canseco is an infamous baseball player who has been in and out of jail but just keeps coming back. He was well known as part of the Oakland Athletics' Bash Brothers in the late '80s, and now more famous for his tell-all book on steroid users. Some of his charges include domestic violence, battery, and failure to appear.

Yet Canseco's book "Juiced" was on the New York Times Best Seller list, he has been on the television show "Celebrity Apprentice," and is now manager and player on the minor league team the Yuma Scorpions. I'm still not quite sure what to think about Canseco. I don't know how he does it, but he seems to always come out ahead.

In order for Plaxico Burress to come back after nearly two years in prison, he will have to be a successful NFL team-player no matter where or who he plays for, and hope that his haunted reputation does not continue to follow him. Let's hope that he's learned this very hard lesson.

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