Monday, March 7, 2011
Braylon Edwards fights DUI charge
By Jane McManus
NEW YORK -- On the day New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards was in a Manhattan courtroom trying to get his drunken-driving case thrown out, he said he wants to stay with the Jets.
His attorney, Peter J. Frankel, was going to file motions Monday to suppress the field sobriety test from Edwards' DUI arrest on Sept. 21.
Although the day was brief and mostly procedural, Frankel said Edwards is aware of the impact the outcome can have on his career. Edwards will be a free agent in the NFL under a new collective bargaining agreement.
"He understands that it's a very important time in his life and he wants to get through this the best way he can," Frankel said. "He's doing all the right things."
Edwards is due back in court on May 16.
After the appearance, Edwards said: "If they give me the opportunity, I definitely want to come back. And, one more time, I love being a Jet."
He said he has been in contact with both general manager Mike Tannenbaum and coach Rex Ryan.
"Just catching up moreso, wasn't anything about football," Edwards said. "The interest is there on their side. The interest is there on my side we just got to put it together and see what happens."
Edwards had 53 catches for 904 yards and seven touchdowns in his first full season with the Jets after they traded for him in October 2009. He made a key catch to set up the Jets' game-winning field goal over the Indianapolis Colts in the final minute of this year's AFC wild-card playoff game.
In September, Edwards was assessed by police to have a blood alcohol level that was roughly twice the legal limit, from breath tests administered both at the scene of the arrest and later when he was taken into custody. Frankel has already filed to suppress the second test in the event of a trial and will file a motion to suppress the first in the next few weeks.
Edwards was already on probation because of a dustup in Cleveland when New York police said they pulled him over in September because his luxury SUV's windows were too dark. Officers said his blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.
He denies driving drunk. He's challenging the basis for stopping him, the reliability of the test and other aspects of the case.
Prosecutors say his arrest was lawful, the test was fine and there's enough evidence to support the charges. The most serious is a misdemeanor.
If Edwards is found guilty of the DUI, he could be compelled to return to Cleveland and face six months in jail for violating the terms of his probation there.
Frankel said he is having ongoing discussions with the district attorney's department about the possibility of a plea bargain, but that no offer has been made.
Jane McManus is a reporter and columnist for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.