Phasing New York Jets' Braylon Edwards Out Sounds Right

Leslie MonteiroSenior Analyst IJanuary 15, 2010

Mike Tannenbaum searched for a top-flight wide receiver since the day the team hired him as a general manager. It started with his alleged pursuit with Deion Branch, and it continued with guys like Brandon Marshall and Michael Crabtree.

He found his guy in Braylon Edwards thanks to Eric Mangini. The Browns traded him in light of his incident at a Cleveland nightclub with one of LeBron James' friends not to mention his attitude destroyed the morale of the team.

Edwards didn't wow anyone due to his inability to catch balls that are catchable in Cleveland. He did not come off a good season last year.

Some people felt losing took the toll out of the wide receiver at the time so a change of scenery would have benefited him.

With the Jets, he behaved well by not saying much and doing the grunt work such as blocking and being the decoy guy, but he has not lived up to what Tannenbaum envisions out of a wide receiver.

Edwards continues to let the football slip through his hands, and sometimes, he overreads where the ball is heading.

In a game against Jacksonville, he struggled to scoop up the football by letting it drop rather than holding on to it.

In a nationally-televised game against Buffalo at Toronto, Edwards failed to catch a ball that would have given the Jets a lead. It was a layup.

In the wildcard game, Edwards was out of sync with Sanchez. He struggled to hold on to the ball.

It's been a common theme, and it has gotten to the point where Sanchez can't throw to him anymore.

Playoffs is not the time for a receiver to figure it out and learn from his mistakes. The game is faster, and the quarterback can't wait to see what a wide receiver can do.

Dustin Keller and Jerricho Cotchery proved to be reliable receivers this season.

Sanchez started off well in September since he and Cotchery formed a chemistry since training camp. Chemistry results to trust, and Sanchez knew when Cotchery would run his routes and be open.

Cotchery knew where Sanchez would throw hence the early success of that pair.

When Edwards was acquired, Sanchez decided to work with Edwards often, and it may have contributed to the rookie quarterback's struggles when one looked at the timing at midseason.

Sanchez went back to Cotchery down the stretch, and it paid off in Sanchez's first playoff win.

Keller had a good season. Not only does he block, but he showed he can help Sanchez open up the passing game by catching the ball well.

It's hard to get away from it now that the quarterback is comfortable.

Edwards has had many chances to figure it out, but it hasn't worked. Sure he can make tough catches, but in playoff football, a wide receiver needs to make easy catches.

Cotchery and Keller can do that now, and that's why it's a no-brainer to not get Edwards involved.

The Jets have an interesting decision to make after this season. Edwards is a free agent after this season, and one wonders if the Jets will fork up the money that Edwards seeks.

The good news is that the former Browns wide receiver won't command much after the way he has played not to mention teams would be leery based on his history.

On the other hand, he acts like a diva if he does not get what he wants. He may feel slighted after the Jets ignored him all this time so he may take his services elsewhere.

Good riddance if that's the case.

It's all about winning the tournament not feelings.

Now it's not the time to experiment or make Edwards happy.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.