Sources: Giants expected to land Edwards

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards is expected to become a member of the New York Giants before the NFL draft on April 25-26, according to a pair of sources with knowledge of the negotiations.

“The Giants are going to have to up the offer a bit, but [the Browns] are willing to move him,” said one of two sources with knowledge of the talks between the teams.

Photo Edwards and the Browns had a rough season in 2008
(James Lang/US Presswire)

New York is trying to replace talented yet troubled wideout Plaxico Burress, released by the team on April 3 after a turbulent year near and far from the field. Meanwhile, Cleveland is open to ridding itself of Edwards, who set the team record for touchdown catches in 2007 with 16, because he’s being viewed as someone who will have difficulty working with new coach Eric Mangini.

The Browns reportedly asked for a second- and fifth-round pick and receiver Steve Smith, but the Giants declined. New York countered by offering the two draft picks and receiver Domenik Hixon for Edwards.

Neither the Browns nor Giants could be reached for this story, but both sources said the gap will be bridged before the draft.

“The Giants are motivated, they’re trying to win right now,” the aforementioned quoted source said. “Edwards is a bigger guy that [quarterback] Eli [Manning] wants to throw to, like he had with Plaxico. The Giants know they can’t leave Eli with no great receivers. They saw what happened last year.”

New York’s offense sputtered over the final five games of the season after Burress was suspended by the team after shooting himself at a New York nightclub.

Edwards (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), who has expressed a strong desire to play in a large market like New York, isn’t quite as big as Burress (6-5, 232) but would give the Giants a nice-sized target.

Edwards, the third overall pick in 2005, has shown flashes of his joining the league’s elite wideouts, catching 80 balls for 1,289 yards in his record-setting ’07 season. However, that’s the only time he has surpassed 900 yards in a season over his first four years. Last season, Edwards slumped to 55 catches for 873 yards and three touchdowns during the Browns’ disappointing 4-12 season.