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Braylon Edwards: Which AFC East Team Needs Him the Most?

Erik FrenzSenior Writer IJune 2, 2016

Braylon Edwards: Which AFC East Team Needs Him the Most?

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    After Braylon Edwards was released by the San Francisco 49ers, there was understandably a lot of questions about which teams, if any, would put a claim on him. 

    Looks like the NFL went with the "if any" part. According to Aaron Wilson of Scout.com, Braylon Edwards cleared waivers and is now an unrestricted free agent.

    It's understandable. After all, Edwards has played in just nine games this season while catching just 15 passes for 181 yards. 

    That may not necessarily be the final nail in the coffin for Braylon's career, though. After all, the 49ers really haven't thrown the ball much and rank 31st in pass attempts. That's because they've been too busy running it—ranking third in the NFL in rush attempts.

    Either way, the story is as it always is—a lot of NFL teams could use a wide receiver. Which teams in the AFC East could most benefit from Edwards' services?

    Erik Frenz is the co-host of the PatsPropaganda and Frenz podcast. Follow Erik onTwitter.

Miami Dolphins

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    Pros

    If and when the Miami Dolphins finally decide to draft a quarterback, they could have the cabinet fully stocked for him to step right in. A bevy of talented receivers—adding Braylon Edwards to Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess and Brian Hartline, a talented tight end in Anthony Fasano and a 1,000-yard running back in Reggie Bush—would be about all the help a young quarterback could ask for.

    The Dolphins have been searching for their identity for a long time. This would bring them closer to finding an identity, if a spread attack is what they want to go with.

     

    Cons

    Alex Smith has had the best season of his career, and if he can't get on the same page with Edwards, chances are no quarterback Miami would trot out onto the field would be able to, either.

     

    Conclusion

    If the Dolphins are going to pursue a quarterback in the draft, they might benefit from the addition to give him more dynamic playmaking threats at receiver.

    Worth consideration

Buffalo Bills

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    Pros  

    If the Bills add another dynamic receiver, they will be able to field talented skill position players at every spot from a spread set.

    Braylon has proven to be a dynamic receiver in the past, and the Bills averaged just 6.7 yards per attempt this season, far below the league's average of 7.2.

     

    Cons

    The Bills have two very talented receivers in David Nelson and Stevie Johnson. Would they really be willing to take one of the two of them off the field for Edwards? He clearly wouldn't be satisfied in a No. 3 role.

     

    Conclusion

    It's worth consideration, but it would depend both on Edwards' willingness to embrace a smaller role and a smaller paycheck.

    Pursue with perspective

New England Patriots

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    Pros

    With two big-time playmakers like Wes Welker and Rob Gronkowski, how could the Patriots possibly need more weapons at receiver?

    Quite simply because they don't have anyone that is a threat outside the numbers. Edwards may not be the most savvy route-runner, but he is capable of winning those one-on-one matchups, as we have seen him do to the Patriots time and time again.

    Brady has done some of his best work with veterans off the street; just ask Jabar Gaffney and Welker himself. 

     

    Cons

    It hasn't all been sunshine and rainbows for the Patriots. In fact, it's gotten even worse recently as they have tried to fill that role. When it hasn't been draft flops like Chad Jackson, Brandon Tate and Taylor Price, it's been stopgap free agents such as Chad Ochocinco and Joey Galloway.

    They have failed miserably, and there's no guarantee Edwards is any better.

    Those route-running concerns would be big issues in New England, as the Patriots ask their receivers to play every position at receiver, inside and outside.

    Not to mention the aforementioned character concerns, which just make him a big question mark.

     

    Conclusion

    The lack of a perimeter threat could be an issue down the line. Bill Belichick has been pursuing help at receiver all season long, but hasn't been able to find the right fit.

    Strongly consider

New York Jets

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    Pros

    Whatever you think of Mark Sanchez, you can't deny that he and Braylon Edwards were on the same page. Edwards caught 88 passes for 1,445 yards and 11 touchdowns as a Jet.

    The Jets were convinced that Plaxico Burress would be a better option than Edwards, but the return on investment hasn't been that great, as Burress has caught more than three passes in just five games this season after Edwards achieved that feat in half of his games last year.

     

    Cons

    If the Jets were willing to cut ties with him once, what makes anyone think they'd be willing to bring him back? We see this all the time with guys like Randy Moss, where the rumors continue to fly about a reunion with their old team.

    More often than not, it dies before it begins.

     

    Conclusion

    Edwards was a great fit for the Jets offense, as he could run slants and deep routes with the best of them. Sanchez clearly needs pass-catchers that he's more familiar with.

    Why haven't you picked up the phone yet?

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