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Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Rex to Braylon: Come back (on the cheap)

By Rich Cimini

Publicly, the Jets haven't shut the door on Braylon Edwards, who still is floating in free-agent limbo. Even though he signed Plaxico Burress, Rex Ryan indicated Wednesday that he'd welcome back Edwards. But it came with a caveat.

"If Braylon wants to come back for what we can pay, come on back, Braylon," Ryan said.

In other words, he'd have to play on the cheap, probably less than $2 million for 2011.

The Jets made a big investment at receiver, giving Santonio Holmes a five-year, $50 million contract. That, coupled with the addition of Burress (one year, $3 million), apparently used up their wide-receiver budget. Remember, they still have Jerricho Cotchery ($1.8 million this season), although they have expressed a willingness to trade him.

Despite Ryan's quasi-invitation, the Jets aren't in talks with Edwards about the possibility of a return, according to a league source.

Edwards considers himself a No. 1 receiver, and you have to think he's looking for at least $8 million per year. He made $6.1 million last season, and it's hard to imagine him swallowing a massive pay cut to return to the Jets.

Right now, there isn't much of a market for Edwards, who has been linked to the Cardinals and Vikings. One opposing personnel director said Edwards might have value in a few days, when the market has calmed down and he drops his asking price.

ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer believes the Jets improved the position by making the Burress-for-Edwards move. Dilfer said it will take Burress a while to get comfortable -- after all, he missed two seasons while in prison -- but he added, "Down the stretch, Burress will be an upgrade over Braylon Edwards. Burress will be low-maintenance."

Dilfer knows Edwards -- they played together with the Browns -- and he said this about his former teammate: "I want Braylon to grow up. He hasn't worked on the details of his position, he hasn't honed his craft, and it's hard to quarterbacks to work with non-disciplined receivers."