We awoke this monring and were greeted with the news that Braylon Edwards had been traded from the Cleveland Browns to the New York Jets.
In return for the disgruntled wide receiver the Browns received WR Chansi Stuckey, LB Jason Trusnik, and two draft picks, a third (which can escalate into a second) and a fifth round pick.
This marks the second time the Jets have done business with their former coach Eric Mangini, who they traded up with in the draft to acquire Mark Sanchez. After acquiring their franchise quarterback via the Browns the Jets have landed a number one target for him.
Edwards, 26, is in the midst of a second straight disappointing campaign after a breakout 2007 season which saw him catch 16 touchdowns. Edwards was clearly in need of a change of scenery as he was becoming a locker room distraction for the Browns. He never really fit in, in Cleveland and been labeled a diva by some. He gets a fresh start now in New York and will look to take advantage.
After making this trade it is clear that the Jets think they can win now. They had the opportunity to trade for Edwards in the off season but balked because they didn’t know what kind of team they had and didn’t want to risk giving up a high draft pick. Now four games into the season, the Jets are looking like legitimate contenders but their offensive needed another weapon, and G.M., Mike Tannenbaum realized he had to strike the iron when it was hot. In doing so he has put the Jets in prime position to contend for a Super Bowl this year.
However, this deal comes as a mild risk for the Jets. But a receiver with his talent is always worth the risk. Everyone knows about issues and his most recent run in with the law involving one of Lebron’s friends. But if there is anyone that can whip a guy into shape its Rex Ryan. Rex doesn’t play any games and will not take any of Braylon’s crap.
In getting Edwards the Jets get the number one receiver they have been clamoring for. He represents the best receiver the Jets have had since Keyshawn Johnson was still wearing the green and white. Edwards size, 6’3” 215, gives the Jets a legitimate red zone target, something they have been lacking for years. While Jerricho Cotchery has been great so far this season he is not a go-to-guy and Chansi Stuckey wasn’t intimidating defenses on the other side.
Now the Jets, who have a Super Bowl caliber defense, have an offense that can compete with the rest of the league. The Jets have struggled to run the ball this year mostly because defenses have stacked the box because they’re not scared of the Jets’s air attack. With Edwards in the fold defenses will have to respect the passing game as will and hopefully that will start to open up some holes for Thomas Jones and Leon Washington.
While the addition of Edwards will help the running game, the guy this trade helps the most is Mark Sanchez. The “Sanchize” has been as advertised so far, save for the Saints game, and now is in an even better situation to succeed. The Jets have run mostly short to intermediate routes so far this season and have not gone deep often. Edwards gives Sanchez a vertical threat to complement the possession threat that Cotchery presents. At the very least, even if he doesn’t revert to his 2007 form, he still represents a huge upgrade over Chansi Stuckey.
Edwards is in a contract year but that doesn’t mean he will bolt after this season. As it stands now, it is looking like 2010 will be an uncapped year, and if that’s the case Edwards would be a restricted free agent and the Jets would retain his rights for at least another season. If a new collective bargaining agreement is reached Edwards would remain an unrestricted free agent, but I imagine the Jets would place the franchise tag on him if they are unable to hammer out a long term deal.
The Jets didn’t give up much for the talented wide out. Stuckey will be replaced by Edwards and the Jets are plenty deep at linebacker to shoulder the loss of Trusnik, who mainly played special team anyway. The draft picks hurt a little but the Jets will enter then 2010 NFL Draft still armed with their first two picks and their number one need, receiver, filled. And if the third rounder escalates to a second rounder, then that mean Edwards tore it up and Jets fans will not be complaining. Thanks again Mangini for not only giving us our franchise quarterback, but now also for his go to guy.