Wednesday, October 7, 2009
More thoughts on Edwards deal
By James Walker
Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker
BEREA, Ohio -- The AFC North blog spent Wednesday at Cleveland Browns headquarters following the blockbuster trade of receiver Braylon Edwards.
Here are some notes and observations:
- Browns coach Eric Mangini definitely sent a message to his team. There’s a strong feeling in Cleveland’s locker room Wednesday that no player is safe until after the Oct. 20 trade deadline. Cleveland is 0-4 and going nowhere. So it may not be the last trade as the Browns begin building for the future.
- Although Edwards didn’t speak with the Browns’ media before leaving, I’m told Edwards is happy that he’s out of Cleveland. He wanted a change of scenery and was pretty much counting the days to free agency. This is the final year of a five-year contract and he didn’t plan to re-sign with the Browns.
- Rest assured Jets coach Rex Ryan talked to his twin brother, Rob, to get a scouting report on Edwards before New York signed off on the deal. Rob Ryan is the defensive coordinator in Cleveland and spent enough time with Edwards this year to get a feel for whether the receiver could mesh well with his twin brother as head coach.
- As far as my personal opinion, Edwards’ tenure in New York can go either way. He usually plays hard on good teams, so it could work out with the Jets. But Edwards also can get frazzled easily if he has a bad game. He often thought Cleveland’s media was too harsh on him, so I can’t imagine how he would react following a bad game with the relentless New York media. From Cleveland’s perspective, I have no problem with the Browns getting something when Edwards wasn’t returning next year. But they should have made this move in the offseason when Edwards’ value was higher.
- According to some of the former New York Jets with Cleveland, receiver Chansi Stuckey is a smart player. He is at his best in the slot, which makes you wonder if he’s starting material or just a No. 3 receiver. Ironically Stuckey had one more reception (11) this season than Edwards (10) through four games.
- Finally, Mangini dodged the question twice of whether trading Edwards for Stuckey, special-teamer Jason Trusnik and two draft picks instantly makes the team better. The truth is it doesn’t. Cleveland is a worse team Wednesday than it was a day ago. But the Browns could’ve gone winless without Edwards in the first month of the season. So with two additional players and reportedly third- and fifth-round picks in 2010, the Browns can only hope the trade works out best in the long-term.