It's standard operating procedure for newly acquired players to get their favored jersey number, but only after compensating the owner. It's been five years, and Burress still owes Jeff Feagles a new kitchen.
When Burress arrived with the Giants in 2005, he wanted No. 17. Problem is Feagles had that number, and it was special to him. He had given up his lifelong No. 10 to Eli Manning the year before, in exchange for a weeklong trip to Florida. So he had switched to 17, for his 17th year in the league.
So he cut a deal with Burress (or rather his agent, Drew Rosenhaus). No. 17, for a remodeled kitchen. Burress never paid up.
I never got paid for it," Feagles said. "I asked [Burress] for it. Every time I went to Drew he said, 'That's between you and Plax.' Bottom line, I never got paid. He basically stole my number."
The worst part is that Burress didn't want No. 17 for some super sentimental reason. He wanted it because he signed his deal with the Giants on March. 17.
Feagles is retired now, although the Giants offered him the "tarnished" number back. And Burress, of course, is wearing a much longer number.