The Jets made the NFL's second-biggest move today when they traded for Braylon Edwards. Everyone in New York seems pretty pleased that they finally have a number-one receiver (especially since that whole tampering with Michael Crabtree thing didn't work out). The Daily News has even proclaimed, "What a Catch!" (See what they did there?) Our own Gang Green Nation shares in their optimistic thinking.
... I really like this trade. There's no question Edwards has number one receiver talent. He can stretch the field and draw double coverage. It potentially gives the Jets the chance to use the Giants' Eli Manning model. They gave him the big target as a safety blanket, Plaxico Burress. Burress drawing double coverage made life easier for the run game since defenses had to key on him. The struggling backs aren't going to see as many eight man fronts with Edwards there to stretch the field. Jerricho Cotchery's also going to benefit. He's off to a hot start even though he's the focal point for opposing secondaries. Edwards-Cotchery is immediately one of the better receiver tandems in football.
But, eventually, that initial excitement will die down, and then fans will begin to realize they just traded for a receiver who essentially has had one good year. So the question must be asked: does Edwards make the Jets a better team?
But he is no sure thing ... He hasn't had more than 884 yards in any other season [other than 2007], and he was without a touchdown in the Browns' first four games this season.
Edwards is also prone to dropping a ton of passes - way, way too many for a receiver with his kind of raw talent. Every receiver is entitled to a dropped ball here or there, but with Edwards, the drops have been a major problem throughout his career.
The other downside is Edwards' off-field behavior. Early Monday morning, he allegedly punched a friend of LeBron James outside a Cleveland nightclub. The NFL is investigating the incident, and could impose sanctions if it is determined Edwards violated the league's personal conduct policy.
Edwards was also was partying with receiver Donte Stallworth in the hours before Stallworth struck and killed a man in Miami last March. Stallworth pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges.
Inconsistent, a bad case of the dropsies, and the dreaded "character issues" -- seemingly a big gamble by New York (and why you won't see them rushing to sign him to an extension) but as Bob Glauber points out, they needed "a speed receiver to play opposite Jerricho Cotchery" and "the compensation wasn't ridiculous."
And about all those dropped passes? Not to worry -- New York fans are patient and forgiving. Surely they'll give Edwards plenty of time to adjust. Say, all of one series.