Why the New York Jets Do Not Need to Bring Back Braylon Edwards

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Dec. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Braylon Edwards (17) runs the ball after a catch during the first half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 28 to 9. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

(Note to my friend Nick Spano..don’t continue to read, you will not like this one)

We have talked at great length about the Jets lack of talent at the WR position. It’s a position that John Idzik and company didn’t address during the NFL draft, primarily going the UDFA route to bring players in going into training camp. Ben Obomanu has been the veteran exception. Many of us Jets fans have wondered why they have not gone out and signed at least one more veteran at wide receiver.

One name that comes up every year when talking about the Jets and wide receiver is Braylon Edwards. Why not? The guy has performed well with the Jets in the past, likes the quarterback, and wants to be here. He gives Sanchez confidence when he is on the field with him.

But yet, he has not been signed by the Jets. People have wondered why, wondering if maybe there was a problem with Idzik and Braylon’s agent while they were both in Seattle. I see it a bit differently. The problem is, and the reason Braylon isn’t coming back is, that he isn’t consistent anymore. Specifically, he can’t get good separation on a consistent basis anymore, a key for any wide receiver.

To illustrate what I mean, we are going into the film room to look at two plays. The first is from the fourth quarter of the game against the Titans in week 15. Let’s see what we have:

We are going to watch Braylon Edwards and his matchup, circled in green. Mark is going to drop back and fire quite the long pass towards the sideline and Braylon’s direction. Let’s watch him as he runs straight down the field.

You see the lack of separation that Braylon is achieving here? Mark is setting his arm back, and ready to fire. Does Sanchez complete the pass to his long time buddy? Let’s look at Braylon and his defender after the ball has been released:

The ball is in there, and yet Braylon can’t get enough separation to give Mark Sanchez a great target to look at here. Personally, I wouldn’t have thrown it there. But Mark did, and we know that , as usual the pass was picked off.

Turn the page and we will look at a play from the following week, against the San Diego Chargers.

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