Just three years after finishing up a five-year, $40 million contract, wide receiver Braylon Edwards can’t even find a tryout with an NFL team. After an injury plagued 2011 season saw him catch only 9 passes for a total of 181 yards, he was given his outright release from the San Francisco 49ers last Christmas.
Since then, there have been a multitude of reports of teams that have had “rumored interest” in the free agent, but none seem to ever materialize. The Bengals were said to be at the top of the list, but as far as anyone knows, a visit never occurred and things have gone all quiet on that front. Then, it appeared that a reunion with the New York Jets were on the horizon. But today head coach Rex Ryan came out and said that the team is happy with its group of young receivers led by Santonio Holmes, rookie Stephen Hill, Chaz Schilens and Jeremy Kerley.
At just 29 years old, one would assume that Edwards still has some tread on his tires. He is just one season removed from leading the Jets with 904 receiving yards and seven touchdowns in 2010. Surely some team would be interested in bringing him in for a one-year deal, right? I mean, even Randy Moss, who took a whole year off, is getting some run with Edwards’ former team in San Francisco.
So what’s the deal? Well, it’s all hearsay, really. Every time a free agent wide receiver who has had some success in the league isn’t generating as much interest as expected, people automatically assume it is because a guy is a headcase, a cancer or a knucklehead. Or any combination of those three. But to me knowledge, he seems like a saint next to the likes of Santonio Holmes. But his DWI arrest in 2010 seems to still be fresh in potential suitors’ minds.
I am personally of the mindset that if he is given a chance in an offense that is the right fit, he could still be quite valuable to some team out there. Teams like the New York Giants, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans all seem to come to mind as far as teams looking for a reliable number two or three receiver that might be a scheme fit for Edwards.
In the end, Edwards does seem to talk a lot for a guy who drops as many wide open passes as he does. The question ultimately is if he has reached the point in his career where his ego would allow him to accept a part-time role as a slot receiver or something to that effect. Could you take a step back and realize that he isn’t “the man” on whatever new team would give him a go? It appears, obviously, that most NFL teams don’t believe that.
Is Edwards doomed to go the Terrell Owens route now? Where you can’t accept that your talent no longer exceeds your ego and no teams are willing to put up with the headache you are because of your on-field production? His days as a number one guy may be over, but I still believe he could succeed with a new team if he can mature and accept a part-time role. I still have to believe he is on an opening day roster when the 2012 season kicks off.
If not, he always has his modeling career to fall back on, right?
Filed under: NFL