Braylon Edwards traded to Jets

October 7, 2009 3:03:33 PM PDT
Braylon Edwards' arrival was picture-perfect for the New York Jets. The talented but troubled wide receiver was acquired from Cleveland on Wednesday and showed up at the team's facility shortly after practice ended - just in time to try on his new green and white threads and be included in the team photo.

"I think he's going to fit right in with our group," coach Rex Ryan said.

The Jets dealt wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik and two undisclosed draft choices in return for Edwards, who has 10 receptions for 139 yards but was shut out for the first time in his career in the winless Browns' 23-20 overtime loss to Cincinnati on Sunday.

Edwards, in his fifth season, is expected to practice Thursday and Ryan said he will start Monday night at Miami for the Jets. New York was lacking a legitimate deep threat for Mark Sanchez to throw to opposite Jerricho Cotchery, and the Jets believe Edwards will also help jumpstart the running game.

"I've had to defend against him twice a year in Baltimore, and that's not fun," Ryan said. "He is a matchup nightmare."

The former Michigan star and Pro Bowl selection comes to the Jets with his share of off-field issues. The NFL is investigating whether Edwards violated the league's conduct policy following accusations he assaulted a man outside a nightclub Monday.

Edwards allegedly punched promoter Edward Givens, a friend of NBA star LeBron James, following an argument in downtown Cleveland. Police are also looking into the incident.

"We're comfortable with adding Braylon," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "We'll cooperate with all the authorities, and we're glad he's here. We did our due diligence."

Although Edwards hasn't been charged with a crime, the league's conduct policy states that discipline may be imposed for "the use or threat of violence."

Cleveland coach Eric Mangini said the decision to deal Edwards to his former team was not a direct result of the altercation. He said Edwards didn't ask to be dealt.

"This is a fresh start for Braylon," Mangini said. "It's a great opportunity for him and I expressed to him that I hope he takes advantage of it."

The Jets, off to a 3-1 start under Ryan, had been looking to replace Laveranues Coles in the starting lineup since allowing him to become a free agent in the offseason. They looked into former Giants star Plaxico Burress' legal status before the draft, and were mentioned in possible trade talks with Denver's Brandon Marshall.

Edwards' best season came in 2007, when he had 80 catches for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns.

"I know he's going to add something great to this offense," Cotchery said of Edwards. "We've got to smile about that because he's a great player and he's going to demand a lot of attention."

Edwards also has taken some criticism over the years for his propensity for dropping passes and lapses in concentration.

"Is he going to catch every pass that's thrown to him? No," Ryan said. "But, he's going to catch enough of them and he's going to make a lot of difference."

Edwards has a year remaining on his contract, but the Jets had no immediate plans to sign him to a new deal during this season.

He has been involved in other off-field incidents. In March, he was partying with suspended Browns wide receiver Donte Stallworth in Miami the night Stallworth later drove drunk and killed a pedestrian. Edwards was not with Stallworth at the time of the incident.

Last November, Edwards was fined $150 and given 30 hours of community service after he was found guilty of driving 120 mph.

Ryan said he consulted with people he really trusts; his twin brother, Rob, is the Browns' defensive coordinator.

"We're confident with the player on the field and off the field," he said.

It's the second major trade the Jets have made with the Browns and Mangini. On the first day of the draft in April, the Jets acquired the fifth overall pick from Cleveland - taking Sanchez with the pick - in exchange for New York's second-rounder (No. 52), defensive end Kenyon Coleman, safety Abram Elam and quarterback Brett Ratliff.

Stuckey, who won the No. 2 receiver spot out of training camp, has 11 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown. Trusnik, signed as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio Northern in 2007, is a special teams ace.

Find us on Facebook® | Follow us on Twitter
More social networking
ABC 7 widget | Most popular stories | Street-level weather
Mobile Alerts | Report Typos | See News? Tell Eyewitness news