Finally… a Michigan Man gets out of Cleveland. Hard to believe this didn’t happen before the season as it was pretty apparent the fans of Cleveland had given up on him and he had likely also given up on Cleveland (and not necessarily in that order). This is a good move for both teams. Cleveland needed to get something out of Braylon and this was the best way to do that in both the short and long term, I feel. Clearly his head wasn’t focused 100% and clearly he was fighting everything around him rather than just focusing and trying to keep things in balance. This seems to have been the case ever since his knee injury, but that’s just my opinion. Braylon, who was last heard from tussling with some tiny, 130lb light-weight from Lebron James’ posse at 2:30am outside a night club in Cleveland, definitely needed a fresh start and a bigger stage… but really he just needed to go to an organization that knows what the hell its doing and has goals a lot loftier than just getting into the endzone at least once a game this season.
Cleveland gets two players who can help the team a little over the next two years, plus two draft picks from the Jets for some depth or specialists down the road. And the Jets get a receiver who has the ability to be a top big receiver target both in the middle of the field and out wide. Adding that to the speedsters already on the roster and you’re all of a sudden looking at a potentially loaded lineup for the next 2-3 seasons, assuming Braylon re-signs with New York following his contract expiration after the season. Funny enough, now the only thing missing from the Jets roster is a dangerous tight end… I say funny enough because it is the Jets’ fans’ reaction to the team drafting tight ends in the 90’s that is one of my more rock solid images of New York Jets football history and now they really could use an upgrade there. Imagine if Cleveland had traded both of the players they had given up on to the Jets; Braylon Edwards AND, don’t forget, Kellen Winslow (26 catches ad 4 TDs so far down in Tampa Bay) was also given up on following his motor cycle incident which, again, led to the city turning against him… wow.
If you see a repetitive pattern, here, you’re not alone. This city has burned through more talent than it knows about, and a good deal of it has left Cleveland to find solid success elsewhere – it’s just bizarre. The fans are just waiting for every draft pick to say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, drop the wrong pass, swing at the wrong pitch, take the wrong shot, get on a motor cycle during the off-season… something… anything … so that they have “cause” for their cyclical depression and Cleveland [enter team moniker here] fan requisite ire. This city flat out got off on Braylon Edwards dropping passes, and somehow believed that the two QBs playing quarterback carousel behind the line of scrimmage were both Pro-bowlers in waiting. Never mind that Derrick Anderson only got to the Pro Bowl because of the bind that the duo of Braylon and Kellen put defenses in on every play and the fact that the Browns finally put together a good offensive line. Other than that year, DA has looked well south of average and an ever-changing coaching situation hasn’t helped him improve. And Brady Quinn, being the other Pro Bowl arm on the roster, has obviously shown that he has the goods, right? I mean, he wasn’t ever able to unseat a below-average DA, and when he got his shot his passes were late, inaccurate and often a result of bad blitz reads (a trait he was known for at Notre Dame, by the way). Somehow, though, Braylon and Kellen are the bad guys. Somehow, dropping a ball that he has to pull back from out of bounds territory, or dropping a pass that was threaded blindly through traffic, or dropping a pass that was only reached by long-arm and high-jump miracle makes the receiver the source of all evil? Cleveland fans and the organization are likely going to hear about this trade for a while and it will be deserved.
There’s no excuse for bad behavior – please don’t think that’s what I’m saying. Getting into a fight at a night club at 2:30am (People, does anything GOOD happen at 2:30am? Why… WHY?), or running your mouth about the state of Ohio, or just being overly-sensitive to buckeye fans who are riding you a bit because of your history at Michigan… no excuses. When you’re in the spotlight, how you treat your mailman counts. So he better get his head on straight in New York or that town will eat him up like a two-for-one appetizer special. I think this fresh start will allow him the opportunity to do just that.
A win-win-win trade, everyone makes out – at least on paper. It’s hard to think anyone makes out as well as Braylon did, however. Maybe it wasn’t the best way to go about getting it done, but Braylon gets out of Cleveland, goes to New York, and gets to play for a contender in a contract year and probably carries a tad lower expectations into the new assignment after tough times as a Brown. That should all add up nicely for him.