Everyone else is getting paid. Braylon Edwards is not. While the NFL Free Agent frenzy seems like a ridiculous cashflow where Nnamdi Asomugha makes his mega-millions only to be trounced by Kamerion Wimbley of all players, Edwards is still waiting for someone to make him an offer. Even Olindo Mare signed a four-year deal for $12 million. Olindo. Mare.
Even within the wide receiver corps, players are signing for nice amounts of money. Steve Breaston landed with the Chiefs, Lance Moore re-upped with the Saints, Santonio Holmes hit the mother lode with the Jets. Perhaps the worst part for Edwards is that a guy who’s been sitting in jail for the last two years (Plaxico Burress) is able to come back into the league, meet with Super Bowl caliber teams and sign a deal. And still Edwards sits.
The bottom line is that Braylon deserves better. Somewhere along the line, the former Michigan receiver gained a reputation for being dramatic and dropping the football. One is typical for higher-profile receivers; the other is a reputation that keeps you waiting for the phone to ring. Put them together and others are finding their receiving needs met elsewhere. And that’s a major mistake.
The reality is that Edwards’ reputation is silly; he’s very much an impact receiver with dynamic skills. He can stretch the field, turning his 53 catches last year into 904 yards for a 17.1 yards/catch average. He also had 7 touchdowns. He has good size at 6-3, 214 and even with 7 years of experience, he’s still only 28. In fact, those numbers last season was his best of the last four years.
Perhaps he worked himself harder in a contract year. Well, he wouldn’t be the first. But there’s no doubt that Edwards would immediately upgrade most receiving corps in the NFL and in the pass-happy league of today, having a go-to receiver like Edwards is a rarity. The idea that teams aren’t falling over themselves to invite Edwards in for a visit and sales pitch seems ridiculous.
Someone will find Edwards this offseason and maybe even find him at a discounted price. In the end, I’d predict that we’ll be able to look back in this crazy signing period and realize that one key player fell through the cracks — one who made as much of an impact on his team as the others flying around for big money and who should have received more attention in the midst of the free agent frenzy.