The rumors were true, and now it’s official.
Fan favorite wide receiver Braylon Edwards is a member of the New York Jets. Again.
Some might say that the Jets are “idiots” for bringing back the player who called them that not even ten days ago.
To those detractors, the Jets might say, “well, do you have a better idea?”
The Jets’ receiving corps were already down Santonio Holmes, Clyde Gates and Dustin Keller. Stephen Hill got injured last week. Jeremy Kerley and Chaz Schilens have been playing hurt as well.
Mark Sanchez could be looking up at Kerley, Schilens, Mardy Gilyard and Jordan White next week.
With the receiving corps so depleted, who’s to say that Edwards wasn’t the best choice available?
Yes, 23 months after Edwards played his last game in a Jets uniform, the Jets are getting the band back together, bringing back the guy who used to be as big a part of the Jets’ offense as the vaunted “ground-and-pound” attack.
Braylon Edwards has had an up-and-down NFL career, to say the least. A top-three overall pick in the draft back in 2005, Edwards has seemingly burned bridges on his way out of every town he’s played in. That is, except one.
The Jets probably made the right move at the time when they decided to let Edwards walk after the 2010 season, fresh off back-to-back AFC Championship Game appearances. He’s never been the same player since.
However, no wide receiver ever built a better rapport with Mark Sanchez than Braylon Edwards, and arguably no quarterback has gotten the most out of Edwards than Sanchez.
To be fair, Edwards had a career-high in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns back in 2007, before he came to the Jets. But he was arguably never more effective than when he had Sanchez throwing him the ball.
Edwards averaged a career-best 16.4 yards per reception in a Jets uniform, including a career-high 17.1 in 2010. He led the Jets with 904 receiving yards and seven touchdowns that year, and the Jets were on top of the world.
Of course, things have changed since then. The Jets are no longer flying high. Mark Sanchez is no longer the toast of the town. And Braylon Edwards does not appear to be the big-time playmaker he used to be.
But desperate times call for desperate measures. The Jets are in need of a spark, and maybe Edwards is that spark.
One thing’s for certain. Nobody will be happier to see #17 back on the field than #6.
According to PFF, Sanchez had a 101.7 quarterback rating on throws targeting Braylon Edwards in 2010. That’s the highest quarterback rating Sanchez has ever had, in any season, for any wide receiver with at least 25 total targets.
With the Jets on the brink of a playoff spot with three games left to play, they’re taking a low-risk shot in the dark that the chemistry between Sanchez and Edwards will be able to withstand a new offensive system and their time apart.
Forget about all the hoopla. At the end of the day, if he can help the Jets, then it’s worth it. Welcome back, Braylon.