No Value in Releasing Braylon Edwards
There was a rumor that picked up big steam this morning that the Jets were considering the release of WR Braylon Edwards due to a number of factors concerning his recent arrest. That rumor has pretty much been debunked elsewhere and it would be hard to believe that the Jets would ever consider the move. Trade? Maybe. Release? No way.
Edwards recent DUI arrest came at the worst possible time for him and the organization. The team had, in some circles, been heavily criticized for the way the team was portrayed on the show Hard Knocks. Things got worse for the team when reporter Ines Sainz was reportedly harassed by both players and coaches when she was at a practice with the team to do a piece on QB Mark Sanchez. The Jets have been desperate to win a PR battle to up the name value of the franchise and things had not gone as well as hoped. Edwards arrest was icing on the cake and the Jets decision for a token “no start” punishment has been taken to task by the loudest voices on sports radio and TV, which is really unfair considering the number of players who have been arrested for similar offenses and were simply told to not do it again as punishment. Edwards' subsequent apology came off as half hearted and there are players on the team now publicly questioning his desire to be a member of this team.
None of this could have sat well with owner Woody Johnson and I am sure that there would have at least been a discussion of releasing the player, which is probably how the rumor got started. If there is one thing we all should have learned from watching the HBO show it is how the front office considers every possibility before making a final decision. In this case the options would be to have no punishment, a one game suspension, a trade, or to release the player from his contract. I am sure every option was considered. I'm sure every possible ramification of each move was discussed from legal grievances to on field consequences to media relations.
From a financial standpoint the Jets have no reason to release Edwards. When the Jets signed Edwards to his 1 year contract he received about 1.75 million in various bonus money that has already been allocated to him. Because Edwards is already a vested veteran his base salary of $4,355,000 will be completely paid to Edwards as termination pay if the Jets were to release him. So financially it makes no sense for the Jets, a team that has carefully watched every dollar it has spent this year, to let him go with no compensation.
If the team were to find a trade partner that changes the situation. The balance of his salary no longer becomes the responsibility of the team in that situation. They also will receive compensation from a team via the trade. Trades for players do not happen often in the NFL, but the Jets have been very proactive in trading players. The recent trade talks for San Diego's WR Vincent Jackson have made it apparent that there is a market for a big wide receiver. While you never want to trade a player to an upcoming opponent the fact is that the Jets do have a good relationship with the Minnesota Vikings and the Vikings are desperate for a wide receiver.
If the Jets are serious about benching Edwards for a full game, and the media may be pressuring them to do so, a trade might not be impossible to make. With the anemic Bills on the schedule in week 4 and the subsequent activation of WR Santonio Holmes from the suspended list the question becomes how much do the Jets really need Edwards and his headaches around the club? Probably not very much….assuming they can get value back for him.
How would the players react to the move? It does not sound like they would care one way or the other. The comments coming out about Edwards behavior have been terrible. It really makes me wonder how much he is liked in the locker room. He was good friends with S Kerry Rhodes who nobody shed any tears for when was shipped out of town, so maybe there is some carryover to Edwards.
But the bottom line is that releasing him makes no sense at all. The Jets are all about value and there is no football value to releasing the second best WR on your team. I do feel a trade could be a viable option provided his QB tells the front office that he can play without him, but if the QB stands up for him, and Mark Sanchez was one of the guys to initially support Edwards, you can not trade him, no matter how much the local media crucifies you for it. This is the NFL. Players get in trouble all the time and nobody cares. The Bengals became a running joke with all the arrests. People only care because this is NY and the Jets crave the limelight. It should be a non-issue, but unfortunately it is becoming another distraction for the club.
I am not defending Edwards conduct, I despise drunk drivers, (and texting drivers and those using cellphones - if you hit someone - you walk away and the victim and their families are screwed for life), but let justice take its course. The Jets need to win games also, and Holmes is not yet available.
It is true that trades are rare in the NFL, however, I find it curious that Patrick Turner was elevated to the 53. From a physical standpoint Turner is a Braylon clone, certainly doesn't hsve the receiving skills or deep speed, but may give you that redzone target.The Vikings were willing ( rumor)ro send a second round pick and a conditional pick for VJ.
IMHO Edwards has a shade more talent than Jackson, same type of receiver , equivalant risk (Jason could you comment). Viking and always the Redskins are great candidates as trade partners
None of this means that the Jets will trade him this year. Most likely they will let him walk after years end. They have already made it know that they think Holmes is the better player so the money likely goes there. Edwards, because of his physical gifts, is going to get a good deal on the open market which should give the Jets some decent compensation when they lose him, probably as much as they would receive in a trade now. Better to use his abilities this year and then get the compensation in the offseason than accept it now. Trading him does nothing but punish the fanbase and team, IMO. Releasing him actually rewards him. Its best to just make him play and let him have to listen to the media harp about him being a bad person.
Else who will their other receiver be?
I am hoping that Edwards plays well this year and then lets see what happens.
(as stupid as the DUI was, that 15 yard taunting penalty showed immaturity, and he could have gotten a 2nd penalty.)
I wonder when Brodney Pool will be 100% ready to play? He's already missed 2 games.
I hope nothing is seriously wrong with Mangold!
And I'd like to see Jason Taylor have a good game against Miami. (It seems the Miami fans are more belligerent than any others, with their animosity towards the Jets).
(Let Revis miss 2 games so he is fully recovered. Else he will be mediocre this season, be good next season and hold out again.
Or maybe there will be a lockout and he wont holdout, since he will not have a good year this year.)
Your comments on risk are excellent and thought provoking.. As many folks know, I always drink that green Jet Kool Aide. and believe in Rex's proclaimation of "Play Like a Jet". Rex also seems to have that old school philosphy of Team is family. The Dui is one thing, but Braylon's attitude is a more important aspect, Edwards thinks he is bigger than the team. If Braylon is a cancer in the locker room , deal him..
I can't see how you would get better compensation then you would from a desperate Minnisota team.
Although I would want a player ( and I don't see anyone on the Viking roster) a second and third round pick works for me...but dealing Edwards would have to be improving team chemistry by subtraction...
PS.. Skins 2nd round plus Devin Thomas WR, deep on the depth chart ( a WR bust from Michigan State)
Thought the Jets were going to draft Thomas instead of Keller ( looks like the Jets made a good choice)
And here is the kicker about all of this. Imagine if the Jets did release Edwards. In that situation you are rewarding the guy for a DUI. He gets cut from the Jets, receives all his money in termination pay, and then gets a new gig making a few more million. In essence he gets a raise for getting a drunk driving arrest. Thats insane, yet the media I think would somehow take that to be the proper way to handle the situation.
Another thing to consider is what happens if you do deactivate him? So you give him a 1 game suspension with pay and then in November he pleads guilty and the league gives him 3 games or whatever it would be. Now you lose him for 4 games when you only should have lost him for 3. That doesnt make sense. Let the league handle it and worry about it then.