We’ve been hearing for weeks now that former Giants receiver Plaxico Burress flatly has rejected opportunities to resolve criminal charges that could put him away for a minimum of 3.5 years, even though Burress would do far less time by pleading guilty to a lesser charge.

Bob Papa, the radio play-by-play announcer for the Giants and one of the hosts of Sirius NFL Radio’s The Opening Drive, elaborated on the situation today.  

“This is what I’ve been told and what I’ve heard,” Papa said on the air.  “They worked out something where they had it down to about a three-month jail term with actually only two months served and about 1,500 hours of community service.  And I think his lawyers felt that they had a pretty good deal.  He doesn’t want to go to jail at all.   He shot down the deal. . . .  He does not want to go to jail at all.  So now coming up in another couple of weeks we’re gonna find out what’s gonna happen.  But my guess is that the city of New York is not gonna back off any kind of jail time. 

“Evidently, he’s gonna have to go to Riker’s Island,” Papa added.  “He’s deathly afraid of going. . . .  [I]f he would have just taken the deal when it originally was offered it would all be over with by now.  But supposedly the community service hours and the jail time are not appealing to him.  He does not understand that he is not in any kind of position of leverage.  He has no leverage.  He — not his representatives — he thinks he has leverage.”

Papa is right on the money.  No one wants to go to jail.  But when Door Number One entails two months and Door Number Two most likely will slide open to reveal a minimum of 39 42 months, the decision should be easy.

Then again, nothing is ever easy when it comes to Plaxico Burress.

Apparently, he thinks that lawyer Benjamin Brafman will be able to do for him what Brafman did for Sean P. Diddy Puff Daddy Puffy Hufflepuff Bo Diddley Combs, securing an acquittal on identical charges.

But there are two key differences between the two cases.  For Combs, the unlicensed and loaded weapon that he allegedly had in his possession didn’t fire a bullet into his thigh.  More importantly, Brafman destroyed on cross examination the witnesses who claimed that Combs pointed a gun at them.

For Burress, Exhibit A is the scar from where the bullet entered his leg.  Exhibit B is the scar from where it exited.  Add a dash of testimony from folks like former teammate Antonio Pierce who’ll confirm that the scars were obtained when a gun in Plax’s possession went off inside a Manhattan night club, and no amount of legal hocus pocus or mumbo jumbo or Chewbacca defenses will keep a reasonable jury from concluding that Burress is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

In America, our inalienable rights include the right to irrevocably screw up our lives.  Unless someone can talk some sense into Burress soon, he’s about to provide a high-profile manifestation of that right.