We have all heard the news that Braylon Edwards was released by the 49ers today. Many have argued for him to return to the Jets either now or before the start of the 2012 season, while many others have argued to let him pursue work elsewhere (outside the AFC East of course).
I would like to take this time to display both sides of the arguments to bring him here or leave him alone. You can make your vote and comments below:
Bring Him Here:
1. Established Chemistry with Mark Sanchez - valuable asset for the perpetually underperforming QB. Gives him a good safety net with that kind of trust.
2. Big Playmaking Ability - anyone can make plays. But some players have the athletic skills to make plays all the time. The overwhelming majority of Sanchez's passes of 40+ yards in his career have been to Braylon Edwards. And that's the facts. Think back to the 2010 games against the Texans and Dolphins. the playoffs against the Pats and Colts, the 2009 AFC Championship game with that huge TD catch in the first half (then erase your memory from the rest of the game), even the games against the Bills where he dominated those smaller DBs.
3. Actually a Team Player - said repeatedly that he wanted to finish his career in New York. Never made a big deal out of problems with the game planning. Never complained publicly about sharing plays with Santonio Holmes and Dustin Keller.
4. Great Run Blocker Downfield - remember the 2009 home game against the Bills? And the great block Edwards threw for Thomas Jones on one of his two 60+ yard runs? We need a downfield blocker yesterday.
5. Experience - Simply put, Edwards has been there and done that. In the regular season and post-season. He knows the coaches (though hopefully a specific one will be gone within the next few months), knows the players, and has mentoring potential for the young WR corp if he gets his act together.
Leave Him Alone:
1. Drops Balls - the Buffalo game where the ball literally bounced off his facemask instead of being a 80-yard TD was painful to watch (especially in the blooper reels). Among other catching fundamentals that Edwards displays a lacking of.
2. Immaturity - That's the best word to describe some of the behavior. The drinking and driving, the fights, the restaurant incidents. None of these will ever get Edwards respect in New York City or the team's front office, probably no matter how hard he plays.
3. Might Not Want to Come Back - I am of the opinion that the Jets were actually the mysterious team Edwards claimed was looking into him at the time of the restaurant incident. My crazy opinions aside, perhaps the Jets wore out their welcome in Edwards' eyes when they adamantly refused to give him anything long term. He later found that no one else would either, but that may be besides the point. He might not want to go back to the Jets.
4. Injury Concerns - Edwards was healthy as a horse in New York. Yet for some reason, as soon as he went to the 49ers he started accumulating injuries left and right. The surgery he claims he got will probably not help him get a deal with any team, much less the Jets.
5. Drop in Production Concerns - Not a very fair criteria considering who his QB was, and the fact that the Jets have given deals to players with limited (Mason) or no production from the prior year (Burress). However, we don't know what's in the heads of the Jets F.O. when evaluating talent, so they may interpret Edwards' bad year differently.
Well, there are my arguments. I'm sure I some important qualities out of both sides, so if you find one leave a comment.
I will conclude by saying I am completely in favor of signing Edwards. I thought it was stupid to release him after so much production in the regular season and playoffs, and being such a key part of Sanchez's growth from his rookie season.
I want to have him signed, I hope we have him signed, and I will remain cautiously optimistic that we will have him signed well before the 2012 season.