Plaxico Burress is NOT going to prison for tax evasion -- despite the fact he was facing an entire DECADE behind bars ... TMZ Sports has learned.
As we previously reported, officials in Mercer County, NJ charged the ex-NFL star with two tax crimes for failing to pay $48k in state taxes ... each count carried a maximum 5-year prison sentence under NJ's new ultra-strict tax laws.
Plaxico had maintained that it was all just a simple mistake and he had no intention of screwing the government out of its cash.
Now, sources connected to the case tell us ... the two sides have struck a deal to settle the matter -- and Plax won't have to spend a single minute behind bars.
Our sources say the biggest point in the deal is that Plax will cut a check for the money he owes.
We reached out to Plax's rep for comment ... who tells us, "A tentative agreement has been made to satisfy the tax obligations for Plaxico."
The rep adds, "We have been overwhelmed by the support and workability of all government agencies from the county all the way up to the state and federal offices."
"We hope to have everything buttoned up as soon as possible. We look forward to looking at this through the rear view mirror."