Is the new #17 the old #17?
After spending the 2009 and 2010 seasons with the New York Jets, rumor has it that wide receiver Braylon Edwards may find himself back in the Green and White in 2012 after a year apart.
The 29-year-old Edwards was an integral part of the Jets offense during Mark Sanchez’s first two seasons in the NFL, and the young quarterback struggled at times to find that same chemistry with Plaxico Burress.
Now, it appears that Burress is on his way out, and the Jets need a starting receiver to pair up with Santonio Holmes. Who better than the guy who’s already proven he’s a pretty good fit here?
Despite coming off a 2010 season with 904 yards & 7 touchdowns, Edwards was forced to settle for a one-year, incentive laden deal with the San Francisco 49ers last offseason after failing to secure a long-term contract.
His tenure with the eventual NFC conference runner-ups was a shaky one. Edwards struggled with shoulder and knee injuries, and finished with just 15 catches and no touchdowns before being waived in Week 17.
Now, a year later, he’s on the open market again, and it appears that there could be some mutual interest for a potential Jets reunion in New York.
“He had two outstanding seasons for us,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said of Edwards last month. “He was an outstanding blocker.”
The Jets were unable to establish a deep threat with Burress wearing Edwards’ old digs. Sanchez only completed three passes of over 40 yards, compared to Edwards alone accounting for five such receptions in 2010.
First and foremost, Edwards has to prove that he’s healthy. His knee especially has been problematic, and he’ll likely sign another short-term deal to prove he’s still the same player he was in 2009 and 2010.
He does not have to wait until March 13 to sign with a team however, because he’s been a free agent since San Francisco let him go in December. So if he can pass a physical, he’s free to sign anywhere at anytime.
This is not the first time we’ve heard whispers of a potential reconciliation between Braylon Edwards and his former team. Back in January, I noted Edwards’ apparent desire on Twitter to return to New York.
As they say, if the shoe fits, wear it.
Edwards was a good fit for the Jets before, and if he’s healthy (granted that’s a big “if” right now) he would be a good fit in Tony Sparano’s physical offense. He’s always been a willing and capable blocker.
He can be the tall, athletic deep threat the Jets sorely lacked in 2011, and his presence on one side of the field should free up some single coverage opportunities for Santonio Holmes to make plays as well.
It seems like Edwards would like to return, and according to Manish Mehta of the Daily News, the interest may be mutual. The only question right now is his health.
Personally, I think he would be a perfect fit. He won’t cost much both in terms of years and dollars, so he’ll be motivated to perform. He also has great chemistry with Sanchez, who is entering a make-or-break year.
Let’s hope the former Jet is a future Jet. If he can pass a physical, I’d love to see Braylon Edwards back in a Jets uniform where he belongs.