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Burress' lawyer: 'We're respecting the process' in jail release

A lawyer for Plaxico Burresstold the *New York Daily News* on Thursday that reports of the incarcerated wide receiver's pending release from jail and a subsequent return to the New York Giants are "premature."

Burress' attorney, Peter Frankel, responded to Wednesday's *New York Post* report that the Giants would be interested in bringing back the receiver, who could be released from the Oneida Correctional Facility in Rome, N.Y., within the next two to three weeks.

Frankel said Burress' application for a work release is still pending. And while Frankel said Burress is "hopeful" that the release will be granted, he cautioned those who suggest it's imminent.

"To say he'll be out in two to three weeks is certainly premature," Frankel said.

"That was somebody going to visit him, and saying he was hopeful he might be moved in two to three weeks, and suddenly that turned into, 'He'll be out in two to three weeks,'" Frankel added. "We're respecting the process."

While Frankel acknowledged that there are "a very wide range of possible outcomes," a spokesman for Oneida Correctional Facility told the Daily News that in general, inmates granted work release are referred to a separate work-release facility in the state, where they likely would spend the remaining time of their sentence performing community-related work.

"I don't see (a return to football) happening in the short term," Frankel said. "He still has a year left on his sentence, so this is still completely up to the discretion of the Department of Corrections and what they want to do."

Nevertheless, Frankel said Burress is committed to returning to the NFL. The receiver hasn't played in the league since 2008 with the Giants, and he has 505 receptions for 7,845 yards and 55 touchdowns in his nine-year NFL career. He also caught the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese told the Post on Wednesday that the team "definitely will investigate" bringing back Burress, adding that he believes the receiver could make a successful transition back into the league, even after missing two seasons of work.

"When he first went in (prison) he was saying he thought he'd come back and be a good player, and I don't doubt that at all because he's that kind of athlete," Reese said. "But in this game it's hard to walk away for a couple of years and be the same person. But if anybody can do it, I think it's him. So you never say never."

Wide receiver Steve Smith is one Giants player who would welcome Burress' return.

"I know it would be crazy and there would be a lot of attention that we probably wouldn't want," Smith told the Daily News. "That's up to the coaches and the GM to figure out. But I would welcome him back."

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