Yesterday, the self-proclaimed 2nd Most Hated Man in Cleveland finally agreed to a contract with the San Francisco 49ers. The deal is reportedly for one year, $3.5-million, in full*.
We all know Braylon Edwards was born with the tools to be an excellent NFL player, he just hasn’t put it together yet. This contract is proof the rest of the league doubts he ever will.
A couple of thoughts:
- The Jets chose to resign receiver Santonio Holmes and let Braylon walk. Holmes missed the first four games of last season due to suspension, and has been arrested three times over the past five years. The Jets then signed WR Plaxico Burress after he’d spent the past two+ NFL seasons in prison, and for just $500 K less than Braylon eventually took from the 49ers. On top of that, Rex Ryan runs one of the most uncivilized, player friendly, and profane camps around, and Braylon still had to go. That should tell you everything you need to know.
- All told, Braylon played 28 games in New York, catching 88 balls for 1,445 yards, and 11 TDs. Nobody would call the Jets offense prolific, especially compared to the Browns’, but still, those numbers would look better had they been recorded in one season as opposed to two.
- *By the way, in full means Braylon will only see $2.5 million of the full 3.5 if he catches 90 balls and makes the Pro Bowl. 2007 was Braylon’s only Pro Bowl year and got there by catching 80 balls for the Browns. So unless he has his best year ever, he’ll only stand to make $1-million, and even that contract figure isn’t guaranteed.
- I don’t see 90 catches happening because the 49ers will probably stink. They are on my short list of teams considering the intentional tank job for the chance to draft incoming QB dream Andrew Luck. Braylon probably could have signed with Minnesota, Chicago, or even Philadelphia for less money, but with the chance to win and put up the big numbers he’d need for that big contract next year. Instead he took the biggest scrap deal he could get now on a horrible team. Add that to his never-ending list of poor decisions.
- On paper, a receiving nucleus of Braylon, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis should give opposing defensive coordinators fits. But that’s a long shot to transfer because current QB Alex Smith hasn’t shown the ability to get the ball downfield with any regularity. In five tattered NFL seasons, Smith’s best TD/INT ratio was achieved in 2009, when he threw 18 TDs against 12 INT.
- That locker room should also be a blast. Crabtree was a projected top-5 pick in the 2009 draft, but his divaishness (add that one to your dictionary) was so revered that it caused him to slide to 10th. Even the Al Davis Raiders passed on him to take a lesser known receiver, Darrius Heyward-Bey, whom to date has been a total bust. After the draft Crabtree threatened to holdout for the entire 2009 season unless he received the top-5 money he thought he was going to get. His epic holdout lasted 70 days, a 49er record, and it cost him the first five games of the season.
- Braylon was drafted 3rd overall in 2005, higher than any other free agent WR in this, the biggest free agent class in the history of the league. Yet nine other receivers were inked before him. Here’s the list below in order, and where they were drafted just for fun:
1. Santana Moss – resigned Redskins (drafted 16 overall in 2001)
2. Santonio Holmes – resigned Jets (drafted 25 overall in 2006)
3. Sidney Rice – Seahawks (drafted 44 overall in 2007)
4. Brad Smith – Bills (drafted 103 overall in 2006)
5. Roy Williams – Bears (drafted 7 overall in 2004)
6. Steve Breaston – Chiefs (drafted 142 overall in 2007)
7. Mike Sims-Walker – Rams (drafted 79 overall in 2007)
8. Plaxico Burress – Jets (drafted 8 overall in 2000)
9. James Jones – resigned Packers (drafted 78 overall in 2007)
10. And then there was Braylon
- Last year’s Browns-Jets game one of the most memorable of 2010. Most of Braylon’s action occurred before the game though, when on Veterans Day no less, he referred to playing in Cleveland Browns Stadium as a “personal war.” And now that he’s switched teams he’ll get to face the Browns again–October 30, 2011–this time in San Francisco.
- Dominique Zeigler currently wears No. 17 in San Francisco, so Braylon has been handed No. 81, something he says is only temporary because he doesn’t want to be known as the next T.O. Buddy, you’re half the player and twice the diva he was, you’re not the next Terrell Owens.
Get your popcorn ready, and Go Browns…