I have thought about the idea of Braylon Edwards in a Giant uniform and have come to the same conclusion – let Mangini deal with him.
When Jerry Reese did not pull the trigger on the trade, and kept the draft choices and players the Browns were demanding, it may have been the best trade the Giants made this post-season. My confidence in the Giants General Manager was confirmed.
One of the keys of the 2007 run to the Super Bowl was team chemistry, and it can take one player or one event to destroy that chemistry. As I sat in the Meadowlands watching Osi being taken off the field, I had a bad feeling about the season. Never did I give up on the belief that the Giants could make it to the Super Bowl in 2008, but something seemed to be missing. The team chemistry was not the same.
What does all of this have to do with Braylon Edwards? Did we not just have a player who was so self-involved that once given a nice fat contract with a big bonus, he began to self-destruct. Early in the season he missed practices, did not communicate with his coaches and began to unravel internally. How else can you explain some of his actions culminating in the night out, while carrying a loaded weapon in a public setting. Nothing good can come of that combination.
I see Braylon Edwards as an extension of the Plaxico Burress experiment. The young man has so much talent, can dominate a game and put fear in the hearts of cornerbacks. But who is the real Braylon Edwards and why were the Browns so anxious to trade him?
Let’s look at his contributions since being drafted with the 3rd overall pick. In 2007, he had a great year for a second year player. He had 16 touchdowns, 80 receptions and 1,289 yards, and his catches accounted for 57 first downs.
In 2006, he had 61 receptions for 884 yards and six touchdowns. Last year, he had 55 catches for 873 yards, and dropped 16 passes, leading the league. His yards after catch never exceeded 5.3 yards per catch throughout his career, and that was in 2006. What these numbers tell me is that 2007 was an extraordinary year. These numbers do not warrant giving a first or second round pick and an additional pick, plus an experienced player such as Domenik Hixon.
After all the drama surrounding Braylon Edwards, he is still a Cleveland Brown. All of the potential suitors, the Giants, Eagles, and Jets have not been willing to give up the value the Browns desire. He will be traded, possibly before training camp, but not until the Browns lower their expectations and demands.
The Giants have a young set of receivers: Steve Smith, Domenik Hixon, Mario Manningham, Sinorice Moss, David Tyree, Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden. The last two are very promising rookies, and both with the skills to be successful. There is no reason why this group of receivers, plus their tight ends, cannot produce to the level expected of them. I for one believe they will, and that success will translate into another playoff run. The NFC East will be another battle of wills between the Eagles and Giants, and it will be without Braylon Edwards.
Thank You Jerry Reese.