Hey, look, a troubled big-name wide receiver! Here in town! Someone keep an eye on him when he’s wearing sweatpants, am I right? In rather shocking news first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, our old pal Eric Mangini and his Cleveland Browns have traded talented but baffling wide receiver Braylon Edwards to the Jets for wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, special-teams player Jason Trusnik, and draft picks. Wow.
A year and a half ago, Edwards was considered one of the NFL’s rising stars: charming, good-looking, and otherworldly talented. Then something happened, and he lost his ability to catch a football and turned into an off-field terror. (Do not blame this for this. We had nothing to do with it. We actually found Edwards incredibly friendly.)
Since Edwards’s fall, he has turned his team against him, been arrested for reckless driving, hung out with Donte Stallworth the night that Stallworth killed a man in a drunk-driving accident, and, most recently, punched out a member of LeBron James’s entourage. The NFL has not announced yet whether there will be any disciplinary action against Edwards because of the incident, but LeBron said Braylon was “jealous” and “childish.” Aside from anything else, we’re guessing the Edwards trade reduces the odds of LeBron signing with the Knicks by about .5 percent.
Anyway, Edwards is — or was, at least — extremely talented, a tall, fast, massive target who can stretch the field and, when at his best, transform a team’s whole offense. Mark Sanchez now has his wide receiver. It’s a risky move — Plaxico Burress, among others, showed how one testy wide receiver can derail everything — but if it works, and Edwards becomes Edwards again, the Jets just became a lot more dangerous. And not just to members of LeBron’s entourage.