Ex-Giants And Jets WR Expands On Criticism Of Cris Carter's 'Fall Guy' Speech


NEW YORK (WFAN) — Plaxico Burress says NFL players don’t need a so-called fall guy.

Instead, they should have someone in their entourage with the guts to say, “Don’t do that.”

Burress insisted Wednesday on WFAN radio that he wasn’t bashing Cris Carter when he criticized the Hall of Famer’s message at the 2014 NFL Rookie Symposium. In fact, the former Giants and Jets wide receiver “kind of laughed” when he heard Carter’s controversial advice. But the more he thought about it, the more it rubbed him the wrong way.

“That’s not the message that we’re trying to get across,” Burress said of Carter, who apologized after telling last year’s rookies to have a fall guy to take the blame for any off-field trouble. “They’re basically kids. … We should be telling them, at least have one guy in your crew — or whatever you may have — to say, ‘Hey man, look, don’t do that. That’s not smart.’ ”

Burress, who spent nearly two years in prison after accidentally shooting himself in the leg during the 2008 season, railed against Carter’s “fall guy” speech in a series of tweets after the video went viral.

“It’s not about Cris Carter,” Burress told WFAN co-hosts Joe Benigno and Evan Roberts. “It’s about mentoring these kids in a healthy way. We’re supposed to be helping these kids so they can have these great careers, so they don’t get into trouble. I don’t want to see nobody go through what I went through. I’ve seen the inside of a jail cell and what it looks like. I don’t want nobody to go through that.

“We’re supposed to be sharing our personal stories to help them so they don’t make the same (mistakes) that we made. That’s what the rookie symposium is supposed to be about. … I mean, look, guys are still going to do their own thing. But at least give them advice. Give them — say that they should be making better choices and decisions, not, ‘Hey, who’s gonna take the fall?’ That’s not what it’s all about.”

Burress — one of the heroes for the Giants in Super Bowl XLII — pleaded guilty to a gun charge after the ’08 incident and was released from jail in June 2011. The 38-year-old said he spoke at the rookie symposium the following year.

“I’ve made several mistakes in my life,” said Burress, who is currently wrapped up in a N.J. tax evasion case. “I can’t take back what I did. My goal is to teach these young players coming into this league — these guys are 20, 21, 22 (years old), millionaires, going to fulfill a dream to play in this league — advise them to make the right decisions, not what Cris Carter said.”

Burress said a childhood friend once apologized to him for not stepping up as a mentor, and failing to steer the wideout away from trouble.

“That’s the kind of people that you need to have in your crew,” Burress told Benigno and Roberts. “Not the people that say, ‘Hey, you know what, do this, do this, I’m gonna condone what you do and I’m gonna take the fall for you.’ ”

If someone in your crew “cannot help or benefit you in any way, then you don’t need to have them around you. Period, point-blank,” he added.

Burress, whose career was book-ended with stints in Pittsburgh, also told WFAN that he won’t be making a comeback.

“My body’s had enough, man,” he said. “I enjoyed the ride. I had fun. Football gave me a life. It gave me everything that I possibly could have imagined.”