AFC North: Braylon Edwards trade

More thoughts on Edwards deal

October, 7, 2009

Posted by’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.

Too many Jets?

October, 7, 2009

Posted by’s James Walker

BEREA, Ohio -- There is a running joke in northeast Ohio that the Cleveland Browns should wear green jerseys this year and rename themselves the Cleveland Jets. That came after new head coach Eric Mangini acquired seven of his former players from New York last offseason.

On Wednesday the Browns acquired two more former Jets in receiver Chansi Stuckey and special teams ace Jason Trusnik in exchange for former Pro Bowl receiver Braylon Edwards. It was the second trade in six months between Mangini’s current and former team.

Currently nine of Cleveland’s 53 players are made up of former Jets—or 17 percent of Mangini’s roster. Technically it’s in general manager George Kokinis’ contract to make roster decisions. But it’s very evident Mangini is calling the shots with so many players being shipped in from New York.

The results have been sub-par. Players such as safety Abram Elam, defensive end Kenyon Coleman and linebackers Eric Barton and David Bowens are all contributors but none have made enough impact to help the Browns (0-4) win a game this season.
Cleveland Jets
The Browns have nine former New York Jets on their roster.
Player Position Acquired
Eric Barton LB Free agent
David Bowens LB Free agent
Kenyon Coleman DL Trade
Abram Elam S Trade
C.J. Mosley DL Free agent
Hank Poteat CB Free agent
Brett Ratliff QB Trade
Chansi Stuckey WR Trade
Jason Trusnik LB Trade

Mangini delivers message to players

October, 7, 2009

Posted by’s James Walker

BEREA, Ohio -- If the winless Cleveland Browns are willing to trade former Pro Bowl receiver Braylon Edwards, they can trade just about anyone.

"I’m definitely surprised," Browns linebacker D’Qwell Jackson said.

That was the resounding reaction Wednesday in a shocked locker room after Cleveland’s blockbuster deal to send Edwards to the New York Jets.

Browns head coach Eric Mangini reiterated that personal conduct is very important. Through trading Edwards, Mangini’s message was clear: Get with the program or get out.

"That’s been the message since he got here," Browns Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Thomas said. "You’re going to do things the way you’re coached to do it and the way you’re told to do it. If you’re not, then we’ll find somebody else."

Mangini added that, contrary to popular belief, he had trade talks with teams other than the Jets.

But in the end, New York once again provided the best package for Edwards. Cleveland in return gained receiver Chansi Stuckey, special-teams ace Jason Trusnik and two draft picks in 2010. It was the second trade in six months between those two teams.

Moving forward, it’s still to be determined who Cleveland’s starting receivers will be Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Rookie Mohamed Massaquoi will take one spot, while fellow rookie Brian Robiskie, Josh Cribbs and Mike Furrey will compete for the other starting job. Stuckey is out of the running for now as he has to learn the playbook.

Every pass-catcher from the high-powered offense of the Browns in 2007 is now gone. Edwards and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. were both traded in 2009 and Joe Jurevicius was released last offseason.

"There’s just times where you just move forward and we got to get better," said Browns quarterback Derek Anderson, who was also surprised by the move. "The 11 guys that we put out there, we got to find a way to get it done and execute the plays no matter who those guys are."