No Decision on Plaxs $1 Million Bonus

UPDATE:(8:43 EST) According to ESPN, via NJ.com, the fight for $1 million could be solved next Wednesday.
Its been Plax filled here at Giants Gab the past couple days. More news now. The NY Daily News is reporting that there has not been a decision made on Burress bonus money that was due to him when he was suspended:

Plaxico Burress’ fight for the $1 million payment the Giants withheld from him in December began this morning, but a decision is not expected to be made until next week.

Lawyers representing the NFL Players Association and the NFL management council argued their positions this morning in front of Special Master Stephen Burbank at the University of Pennyslvania law school in Philadelphia. Richard Berthelsen, the NFLPA’s general counsel, told the Daily News in an e-mail that a “decision will likely be made within the next seven days.”

A source familiar with the case said the two sides had attempted to negotiate a settlement before today’s hearing. It’s likely those negotiations will continue while they await Burbank’s ruling.

Today’s hearing was about the first of two grievances the NFLPA filed on behalf of Burress over the way the Giants punished the receiver after he shot himself on Nov. 29. The Giants suspended Burress without pay for four games, fined him one week’s salary, and withheld the final $1 million payment of his $4.5 million signing bonus. In all, it cost him more than $2 million in fines and lost wages.

This grievance was specifically about the $1 million signing bonus payment, which was due on Dec. 10, but could have been paid no later than Dec. 25. The Giants never made the payment. And while the team has had no comment on the matter, a source familiar with the situation said the Giants withheld it based on a behavioral clause in Burress’ contract.

That contract, which was obtained by the Daily News, does say the Giants are allowed to recoup part of the signing bonus in the event of Burress’ “incarceration or detention by any law-enforcement personnel” or if he was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team or for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. In fact, he has been suspended twice for “conduct detrimental” since September.

However, the NFLPA’s position likely is related to specific language in the Collective Bargaining Agreement that prohibits teams from going after more than $250,000 in bonus money. The CBA also says that it is supposed to supercede any specific language in a player’s contract.

The second grievance filed on Burress’ behalf was about the rest of what the NFLPA called the “excessive” punishment the Giants levied on the troubled receiver. That arbitration hearing is scheduled for mid-June.


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