Braylon still sees himself as 'elite'

August, 13, 2013
8/13/13
10:00
PM ET
CORTLAND, N.Y. -- Braylon Edwards hasn't been a productive player since 2010, but he still believes he can be an "elite" receiver in the NFL. You have to admire his confidence. We all know the Jets could use some swagger on offense.

"I'm starting to get into camp shape, that groove, that vibe," Edwards said. "Now is the chance to really go after it and really show these guys I still have it and that I can play at an elite level to help this team win games."

With Santonio Holmes still on the mend, Edwards is their most accomplished receiver, no contest. He might not be the player he was in 2007, when he was one of the best receivers in the league, but he still has enough to offer at the age of 30. He's a gamer, and the Jets need gamers.

Curiously, it seems like he's fighting for a roster spot. He played 27 offensive snaps in the first game, an unusually high number for a nine-year vet. When a veteran still is playing into the fourth quarter of the first preseason game, it can be an ominous sign.

"I can't think about what's going on with the depth chart, one to six," Edwards said. "I need to worry about one-seven" -- meaning his number, 17.

Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley are locks to make the team, and Clyde Gates probably will stick, too. After that, it's Edwards and rookie Ryan Spadola, an impressive free agent. Edwards wouldn't say he's a shoo-in -- he's been around this business long enough to know there are very few gimmes -- but he likes his chances because of GM John Idzik.

Idzik, a former Seahawks executive, saw Edwards up-close last season in Seattle. Edwards felt he was the team's best receiver at the start of the season, and he believes Idzik recognizes his ability.

"The talent is there, that's what people need to realize," Edwards said. "John Idzik was in Seattle. If he saw a diminished player, I don't think he would've brought me here."

If Idzik is smart, he'll keep him here because Calvin Johnson isn't walking through the door.

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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