Best Potential Landing Spots for Braylon Edwards
Although it's a pass-happy league there are not many teams where Braylon Edwards fits in.
However, some teams do need to bring in a veteran receiver with the proven ability to stretch a defense and make plays downfield.
Edwards has this kind of skill set and he would revive his career with a few consistent seasons. To that end let's check out his best potential landing spots for the 2012 campaign.
New York Giants
The New York Giants don't need Braylon Edwards nearly as much as some other teams, but they do need to find a short-term solution to patch the hole left by Mario Manningham's departure.
Big Blue is an appealing team for Edwards as the Giants have won two Super Bowls in the last four years, and the talent resides to make another run.
New York has two studs in Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, however, both are excellent intermediate receivers that are even better at getting yards after the catch. So, Edwards can come in and be the occasional deep threat to provide Eli Manning with another target further downfield.
Considering his recent production Edwards will likely see a lot of single coverage anyway, therefore he'll be favorably matched up and a viable option if Cruz and/or Nicks get isolated. Not to mention, but if the Giants can improve the ground game Edwards will simply become a more dangerous target off play-action.
Here's a team where Edwards could come in and be the best receiver..
The Vikings need to get Christian Ponder some help and although he has solid work-in-progress targets like Percy Harvin and Devin Aromashodu, there is no potentially dominant deep threat.
We have to remember that Edwards did catch 53 passes for 904 yards and score seven touchdowns in 2010, thus averaging a career-high 17.1 yards per reception.
Minnesota desperately needs an already developed receiver and providing Edwards with another opportunity will pat great dividends. Now include how horrendous the rest of the NFC North was against the pass in 2011 and it's a perfect fit.
Green Bay, Chicago and Detroit all made improvements to the defense, but all still have to prove the ability to stop it. Edwards makes the Vikings more explosive and in turn takes pressure off Ponder and the rushing attack as well.
St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams need all the help they can get and Braylon Edwards would certainly suffice.
Sam Bradford has no legitimate downfield receivers but Steve Smith is a reliable target in the slot. With Steven Jackson still slamming the rock in the trenches, St. Louis has to get a receiver that will make defenses honor the run to help set up play-action.
In a division that has gradually been taken over by strong rush defenses, the Rams' best bet is to field a balanced attack. Edwards will draw enough attention to help out the ground game and his presence alone makes Smith a more productive slot machine.
Obviously the pass protection still needs to make drastic improvements, but Edwards can also provide a fade threat on the outside for quick passes and force defenses to defer from blitzing.
We then see even more production from Jackson in the running game.
For the Buffalo Bills to reach that next level they need to make a veteran addition to the receiving corps.
Considering all the improvements the Bills have made this offseason, landing Braylon Edwards provides a new dimension to the offense.
We know Steve Johnson will remain the No. 1 target and Scott Chandler is a more than reliable tight end. Edwards' addition would simply force defenses to focus more on stopping Ryan Fitzpatrick than the ground game.
Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are among the best two-back tandems in the game and both are dual threats as well. Buffalo isn't explosive enough in the passing game to keep pace with the New England Patriots, but the improved defense and much better rushing attack will get the Pats on their heels.
That is where Edwards comes in.
He can just stretch defenses to beat single coverage or draw a double-team and open up the field for Johnson, Chandler and running back screens/check downs. In short, the Bills would present a balance in efficiency to keep Fitzpatrick in a rhythm all season long.
John Rozum on Twitter.