Union plans grievance after Giants deny Burress his bonus money

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have refused to pay suspended wide receiver Plaxico Burress a $1 million portion of a signing bonus from a contract signed in September.

Plaxico Burress timeline

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June 12: Fined $25,000 for refusing to practice at mandatory minicamp.

Aug. 19: His wife called police over a domestic dispute; granted a temporary restraining order.

Oct. 5: Suspended two weeks, one game (vs. Seattle) and fined $117,500 for missing a team meeting.

Oct. 19: Fined $45,000 for verbally abusing a referee and throwing a ball into the stands.

Oct. 26: Benched for the first quarter vs. the Steelers after missing a mandatory treatment session.

Nov. 28: Accidentally shot himself in the right thigh at a New York nightclub.

Nov. 29: Is treated at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and discharged.

Dec. 1: Posts $100,000 bail on weapons possession charges.

Dec. 2: Suspended four games and fined for conduct detrimental to the team.

Dec. 5:Giants LB Antonio Pierce meets with police to discuss the shooting.

Dec. 9:Giants withhold a portion of Burress' signing bonus.

NFL Players Association union spokesman Carl Francis confirmed Wednesday night that the Super Bowl champions decided to not make the payment, which was due Wednesday.

"We will file a claim in the appropriate forum to enforce his right to receive and keep the moneys entitled to him under his player contract," Francis said in an e-mail.

Giants general manager Jerry Reese waved his hands earlier in the day when asked whether the team would make the payment.

The union on Tuesday filed a grievance challenging the Giants' decision to suspend and fine Burress last week, just days after the Super Bowl hero accidentally shot himself in a Manhattan nightclub on Nov. 29.

The union said the team violated the collective bargaining agreement by placing Burress on the reserve-non football injury list, suspending him for the final four games of the regular season and fining him an additional week's salary for conduct detrimental to the team.

Placing Burress on the non-football injury list also will keep him out of the playoffs. The Giants (11-2) won the NFC East title last Sunday.

The grievances will be heard by an arbitrator after the season ends.

Burress' agent, Drew Rosenhaus, didn't return either an e-mail left by The Associated Press seeking comment.

The union filed another grievance on Burress' behalf earlier this year after the Giants suspended him for a game and fined him two weeks' pay for missing a team meeting in September. The two sides eventually agreed to cut the fine in half, saving Burress about one game's pay -- more than $200,000.

The shooting was the latest run-in that Burress has had with the Giants since signing as a free agent in 2005. He has admitted to being fined dozens of times for violating team rules. In addition to his suspension in September, he also was fined $45,000 by the league for abusing an official and throwing a ball into the stands in a game against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 19.

Burress accidentally shot himself at the Latin Quarter nightclub, less than 48 hours before the Giants played the Washington Redskins. The 31-year-old wasn't going to play in the game because of a hamstring injury.

Burress faces charges of criminal possession of a weapon relating to the shooting. He pleaded not guilty. He's due back in court on March 31.

The focus of the investigation the past week has been on the role of Giants middle linebacker Antonio Pierce. He talked to investigators on Friday about the shooting. Neither Pierce's attorney nor the police would reveal what was said.

Authorities are interested in why neither Pierce, who drove Burress to New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, nor Dr. Josyann Abisaab, the doctor who treated the wide receiver, called police to report the shooting.

Abisaab has since been suspended for not reporting the gunshot injury, as required by law.

Police said Abisaab is supposed to speak with authorities this week, but neither police and nor the district attorney's office refused to comment Tuesday when asked when the meeting would take place.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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