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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  • walter

    I don’t think that out of two bad plays that this says it all about Edwards. they should resign him he is a great player and they should give him the opportunity to prove he can play. they never should have let him go for the loser burres to begin with.

    • TheJetPress

      Hi Walter,
      These were just two examples….similar plays were all over the 3 games he played. I would have kept him over Burress as well, but at this point I think he is finished.

  • Paul Newbold

    Please let the days of signing veteran players with little or nothing left be over here in New York!! I don’t care how cheap Edwards can be had for, or what his past “chemistry” was with Sanchez! In my opinion there is currently no FA Wide Receiver out there worth signing. The Jets didn’t make any real moves this off season to address the position, so I say too late now! I think we should take our guys into camp, see what we have and watch the wire for some talent. Much like idjik did with the defense this year, the offense skill positions need to get younger and faster! Play the season with the best young receivers we have, at the end of the yr evaluate and take care of it through the draft next season..no hurry we are rebuilding!

    • TheJetPress

      fair enough Paul. I haven’t looked at the list in a while to see if there is nobody I would want, but I agree. There is no reason to sign vets just for the sake of signing them.

  • matr dontelli iii

    nice analysis, alan. not as though you don’t do enough over there already, but i’d love to see more of that. that’s what i like about toj. as you know they do a ton of film breakdown and analysis. i also believe braylon is limited in what he does on specials as well, further reducing the odds of him returning. we’ve read so many positives about the udfas i can only hope one or two of them turn into keepers. we know what the running game and defense will mean to any success we have this year, as well as improved qb play. i’d really rather see hill and a udfa step up than release a kid with potential to bring in a vet like braylon whose age will show more than the abilities he once had.

    • TheJetPress

      Thanks Matr. I agree with you on Braylon. You will see more film analysis, especially during the season. You came on with us later so you might not have seen it as much, we analyze the offensive and defensive tape each week of the season. You will enjoy!

      • matr dontelli iii

        can’t wait!

  • 46

    i understand the first example but the second i disagree…in an all out blitz
    situation the corner is supposed to use the sideline as help an play with
    inside position..when the ball is snapped braylon runs 10 steps forward
    and then runs the out…the corner was in perfect position the whole
    time to make the play..the inside break didnt happen at the snap and at
    that point because of his positioning he was prepared for both…mcelory
    should have audibled him to run the drag an dumped it quickly…corner
    might have been in position to make the tackle but you would hope
    braylon would be able to shrug him off or make him miss.

    • TheJetPress

      did you play QB or something? You bring up good thoughts that I hadn’t thought of, which is why I ask, 46.

      • 46

        i wish i did lol if i could do my life over again i definitely would have lol dont forget at this time of the season braylon was technically hurt too..he was cut by the seahawks because of it..i really think signing him should be priority..holmes wont be the same this year..i dont think he is going to make the opener..we need a reliable target and kerley is still at best a slot receiver.

        • TheJetPress

          good points….I would love to be wrong….if Braylon really has something left, get him here. Anything to make Mark feel more at ease. I just don’t see it. I would be thrilled to be wrong about that.

  • Dustin Schrank

    I don’t know, when stephen “dropped it” hill gets hurt again and we got gates out there I think people are gonna wish edwards was on the roster. Im not sayin make him a starter, but after hearing about all the drops in OTAs I think he deserves a roster spot. I mean how do you even compare his blocking ability to gates its not even a competition, and considering we are probably gonna live and die by the run whats wrong with a good blocking backup reciever.

    • TheJetPress

      I don’t think he will hurt them….I just don’t think he has enough to get the job done anymore.