The New York Jets have decided on the last of their 15 roster cuts required by tomorrow’s deadline, releasing veteran receiver Braylon Edwards. Edwards joins Joe McKnight and Stephen Peterman as the three big name cuts made by the Jets (full breakdowns of the other two veterans can be found here and here).
The other 12 players released comprised of mostly rookies and second year players who were always long shots to make the team, and there were no surprises among the group.
Edwards, on the other hand, comes as a bit of a surprise, especially to the casual fan who recognizes his name value. Edwards was a late addition to the roster following the continuing questions around Santonio Holmes‘ health, and some thought that Edwards would be a contributor for the Jets this season.
However, Edwards is a shell of the player he used to be, and at this point in his career he has very little to offer the Jets or any other organization. Over his last two seasons, Edwards has appeared in 22 games for three teams, totaling just 33 receptions for 380 yards and one touchdown. Edwards has dealt with several injuries that have limited his ability to create separation and leap over defenders, hallmarks of his play when he was with the Cleveland Browns.
The decision to cut Edwards shows that the Jets are focusing on young talent. Clyde Gates and Ryan Spadola have proven that they deserve to make the final roster, and keeping a veteran such as Edwards over one of them would have been a huge mistake. The Jets need to focus on the development of their young talent, and cutting Edwards clears playing time for Gates and Spadola.
The Jets have made quite a few poor decisions in recent weeks, but this is one that they got 100 percent correct. Edwards was not going to help this team this year, let alone in the future. The Jets have two talented young playmakers in Gates and Spadola, and giving them the opportunity to prove themselves is in the best interest of the team both now and for the future.
Jets’ fans don’t have much reason to be optimistic lately, but this decision shows that the franchise may in fact have a solid plan to improve the roster. Rebuilding teams must focus on youth, and the Jets are smart to follow that blueprint.