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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, October 8, 2009

NFL: Ex-Cleveland WR Braylon Edwards got his way, right out of town

By Patrick McManamon
Akron Beacon Journal

CLEVELAND — The Browns got rid of a headache Wednesday.
There’s a lot to be said for that, especially if the headache wasn’t going to get better in Cleveland.

But they sure didn’t make themselves playoff-worthy with what they got in return.
That might not even matter, though. Because Braylon Edwards did not want to be in Cleveland, and his every action indicated that reality.
He goes away.
And takes his Michigan rugs and Michigan toilet-seat cover and Michigan drink huggies with him.
For a third overall pick in the draft, the Browns acquired two mid-round draft picks, a young receiver with unknown potential and a special-teams maven from Ohio Northern with six career tackles from the New York Jets.
Apparently one team can never have enough former Jets.
If the Browns set out to put together a roster of more bland, run-of-the-mill players, they probably couldn’t do a better job.
That does not matter if they win, of course. But the odds of this team winning this season are about the same as a bunch of Cheez-Its doing the tango.
It almost appears that the Monday morning incident when a friend of LeBron James took a punch to the eye after challenging Edwards’ manhood put the Browns over the edge.
They had enough; they traded him for what they could get. Which wasn’t much.
What’s the old saying? Never act out of emotions, because the emotions will rule the decision, and it won’t be clearly thought through.
In the past seven months, the Browns have given the Jets their franchise quarterback and a former Pro Bowl receiver.
The Browns have received a group of “guys,” a head coach and a bunch of grievances.
How is this fair to the good fans of this area?
OK, the Browns put up with a lot of nonsense from Edwards, and former coach Romeo Crennel never could cut the cord. Mangini did, and there’s a lot to be said for trading somebody who’s going to leave via free agency anyway (assuming there is a new collective bargaining agreement).
But in this trade, the key word is getting “something” in return.
It’s not like the Browns acquired top prospects in this deal. They got a bunch more guys to throw in the wheelbarrow already overflowing with ex-Jets guys.
Shame Marty Lyons is retired.
It well could be that this trade reveals Edwards’ market value at the moment, that this was the best the Browns could do.
If that’s true, the Browns could have tried what the Denver Broncos did with Brandon Marshall. Suspend Edwards, then work with him and try to make him into a productive player. He had all the motivation in the world in looming free agency.
The way things were going, he was costing himself millions. At some point, he would have had to get it right. Marshall has. Edwards now has the chance in New York. (And the New England Patriots also made it work with a guy named Moss.)
A suspension seemed appropriate, because it would have hurt Edwards where it matters most to him: In the wallet, and in the ego.
Trading him pretty much gives him everything he wanted.
And it also buys Mangini more time. Because trading the player who theoretically was the best on your offense confirms this as a rebuilding season.
Which means fans need to be patient with the process — again.
Is it me or is Cleveland the only city where Cy Young winners and first-round draft picks are traded?
This move does open up playing time for Brian Robiskie and does allow Mohammed Massaquoi to develop and does give Derek Anderson freedom from someone who almost killed Anderson’s career with his drops. Those are good things.
Are the Browns better today than yesterday, though?
“They made the decision and we roll with it,” Anderson said.
Allow me to translate: No.
The Browns now have an offense filled with possession receivers — does that not sound very Mangini? — and a quarterback who likes to go down the field. This could be interesting.
Too, we’ll see how Massaquoi functions without Edwards on the other side of the field.
The return? It is, as Bill Clinton might say, what it is. It only makes the Browns better if all the players wanted Edwards gone, and as a result the team bonds.
But there’s a talent issue too, and right now the talent is not as good at almost every position as a year ago, except for the new special teamer of course.
This trade is a gift to Edwards.
He’s leaving Cleveland, he’s leaving Mangini, and he’s going to the advertising and media capital of the world.
Broadway. Herald Square. Fifth Avenue.
The Jets get a potential headache, but also a potential 1,000-yard receiver — if he can get back to what he did in 2007. If they don’t, the Jets say “oh well” at what they gave up.
The Browns get more warm bodies.
Edwards gets what he wanted.
It’s almost as if the kid who sat in the corner and cried and screamed and held his breath until he turned blue got his way.