Braylon Edwards to the Jets: Who Wins?
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Considering that the New York Jets had been sniffing around every wide receiver who was rumored to be available, it’s not shocking that the Browns and Jets got something done after Cleveland fell to 0-4, and now three games out of second place in this division. They’re not making that up, and the only way they would have a shot to catch the Steelers is if they beat them twice head to head…which also isn’t happening.
So Braylon Edwards is heading to the big apple after all, although, he won’t be wearing Big Blue, instead, he’ll be wearing gang green. In return, the Browns receive two players, and two draft picks.
One of the players the Browns get in the deal is WR Chansi Stucky, formerly of Clemson. The big idea here is that the Browns are downgrading at wide receiver in the short term because they have little left to play for. But looking at advanced statistics for Stuckey, his 2008 season compares favorably to the best seasons that Braylon Edwards has every had. Is Chansi Stuckey no. 1 receiver material? It’s certainly debatable, but I think I could make a good case for him as a low end no. 1 in the future.
More importantly, Stuckey should benefit from moving out of the Jets offense, even if he has to end up in the punchless Cleveland offense. With Mark Sanchez the focal point of Brian Schottenheimer’s offense, Stuckey had become an unproductive afterthought in the Jets’ pro-style west coast offense. Stuckey’s complete lack of productivity warranted a change of scenery, and he should offer a nice target for Browns QB to throw to.
But this post is about Edwards, so it’s time to look at what the Jets are getting in the trade. They are not getting one of the best receivers in football. But schematically, they are getting a 1a type to pair with Jericho Cotchery, and a guy who gives Mark Sanchez a second threat on the outside. For a team that already has one of the better offensive lines in football, and a reliable running game, the question is not about how Edwards’ changes the Jets’ offense, but if he is the missing piece.
I don’t think he is.
I never really thought the Jets’ receivers were an issue. Jericho Cotchery had been one of the best receivers in football over the first four games. His role probably won’t change. While Edwards brings another vertical threat to the Jets, the problem is that it’s another move that seems to be about the present while the quarterback is someone who will win more games in the future than he will now. You also have a diminishing returns factor to the amount of weapons you can give Sanchez. Chansi Stuckey wasn’t struggling because he sucks, he was struggling because the only plays that were going to him were the ‘B’ list plays. He doesn’t have Brett Favre slinging it around anymore where all he had to do was get open to get the football.
At the price the Jets are paying, it’s tough to not like the gamble. But I just don’t think it’s a gamble that will pay off for the Jets in any noticible manner.