It’s never too early to look ahead at the free agent market, especially if you’re one of the 30 NFL teams who are already in offseason mode.
When the lockout ended last summer, there was a free agent frenzy unlike anything we’ve ever seen. During that period, the New York Jets re-signed wide receiver Santonio Holmes to a five-year contract.
Lost in the flurry of action however was fellow Jets free agent receiver Braylon Edwards. He apparently felt slighted by what the Jets were offering him, and he ended up signing a one-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers.
His tenure with the eventual NFC runner-up 49ers did not go very smoothly. The 28-year-old struggled to find playing time and ended up with just 15 receptions and zero touchdowns.
His stint in San Francisco ended when he was waived in December after battling a nagging knee injury that required surgery, and he was stuck sitting at home watching the postseason like his former Jets teammates.
When Edwards was a Jet, he had great chemistry with Mark Sanchez, and I think it’s fair to assume that Edwards’ absence in the Jets offense was part of the reason Sanchez struggled in 2011.
With the Jets trying to find ways to improve their offense in 2012, is a reunion with Edwards on the table? Edwards was asked by a fan on Twitter if he’d consider a return, and he seemed to be open to the possibility.
The fact that he’s willing to at least consider a return is pretty encouraging. The only question is now is whether or not the Jets would be interested in bringing him back.
Edwards has an up-and-down career, both on the field and off of it, but when he’s healthy and focused he is a legitimate weapon, and he was a clutch target for the Jets in his two seasons in New York.
The first priority is the health of his knee. Perhaps the Jets saw a red flag in his medical reports and that was a factor in why they didn’t pursue him as heavily as he would’ve liked last year.
If he’s healthy, I would definitely give him a shot. Coming off such a poor season, his market value shouldn’t be terribly expensive. He likely could be had relatively cheap, and there’s no doubt he’ll be motivated.
Personally, I think it’s a no-brainer for the Jets. If they can bring him back and pair him back up with Sanchez and Santonio Holmes, they could recreate some of that 2010 magic that never seemed to be there in 2011.
He was a big-time playoff performer with the Jets. He set up the game-winning field goal with a huge catch (pictured above) against the Indianapolis Colts the 2010-11 Wild Card round.
He also memorably carried two Pro Bowl defenders into the end zone like they were rag dolls in the Jets’ upset in Foxboro against the New England Patriots the following week.
A healthy, motivated Braylon Edwards is a big weapon for any team. He would be the perfect compliment alongside Holmes for the Jets next year. I hope they look into this, because I can’t think of a better fit for this team.