Sorry, Mark Sanchez: Braylon Edwards Brings Plenty of Drama, Drops to Jets
The Browns finally returned the favor.
Edwards, who led the league in dropped passes last season (16), is a textbook example of a talented professional athlete with too little sense and too much arrogance.
Included on Edwards' sterling off the field résumé are a rookie contract holdout, a trip to the 2006 Ohio State-Michigan football game (Edwards arrived to the game in a helicopter) against the advice of Browns team captains, a night of partying in Miami with suspended Browns WR Donte' Stallworth that ended in Stallworth driving drunk and killing a pedestrian, and a recent physical altercation with a friend of LeBron James outside a Cleveland nightclub at 2:30 a.m.
Let's not forget that his latest incident came mere hours after the Browns' 23-20 overtime loss to the Bengals, a game that saw Edwards catch not one pass.
Frequently citing displeasure and a feeling of estrangement with the Cleveland and Ohio fanbases due to being a Michigan alum, Edwards never seemed to truly fit the bill of a player for the traditional, blue-collar Cleveland franchise.
In exchange for the terribly inconsistent receiver, the Browns get WR Chansi Stuckey, special teamer Jason Trusnik, and two future draft picks.
The additions fail to add much more than a couple bodies to a Cleveland roster that desperately needs help at almost every position. With Edwards' departure, special teams standout Joshua Cribbs becomes the team's No. 1 receiver.
While the Browns may have not received equal talent value for Edwards, the removal of the receiver whose ego turned his hands to stone will benefit the struggling franchise over the course of time.
Cleveland may have lost its most talented player (which really says something about the Browns' player personnel), but it has recently become painfully clear that Edwards' career wouldn't blossom (if it ever does) on the shores of Lake Erie.
The Jets, on the other hand, welcome a Terrell Owens-like presence into their locker room.
While New York is off to a great start with rookie QB Mark Sanchez, and while Edwards may find a rebirth of sorts with his new team, incorporating players like Edwards can only do more harm than good.
We've seen this pattern run its course with the aforementioned Owens: The veteran receiver moves to a new team and experiences a "honeymoon" phase in which he produces and is relatively quiet and benign.
Phase two usually involves a seemingly minor intra-team dispute or issue caused by Owens.
Finally, Owens' pride swallows the team whole and forces it to deal him away to avoid further damages.
Considering Edwards' past and personality, it becomes almost too easy to apply this kind of template to his situation, and bringing this kind of person to an organization in the midst of grooming a first-year franchise quarterback in Sanchez certainly can't do wonders for his development.
The shipping of Edwards effectively raises the white flag on Cleveland's season (as if we needed the trade to know that).
Edwards wasn't the Browns' only problem, but he definitely didn't help in getting them on the right track. The future of the squad is now more bleak than ever, and Cleveland fans—some of the most loyal and success-starved in the country—will have to again wait for the Browns to present a decent product.
No thanks go out to you, Braylon, and as a friend of mine put it, "Don't drop your boarding pass on your way to the airport."
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