Jets make big and risky splash with Edwards

There's no question that former Cleveland Browns receiver Braylon Edwards(notes), who was traded to the Jets today, has a world of that wonderful quality the analysts call "upside" when they're taking vacation time in their own heads. In 2007, Edwards caught 80 passes for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns in what has been by far the best season of his five-year career. Problem is the "by far" part. As much as Edwards has the potential for greatness, he's also prone to boxy route-running, lapses in focus on the field, and drop after drop after drop. He's never had a Catch Rate (targets divided by catches) higher than 54 percent, which is well below average, even for deep threats. He's caught only 10 passes through Cleveland's first four games this season, and he was hardly seen at all in Sunday's overtime loss to the Bengals. Then, there's that whole ongoing investigation thing.

Still, the Jets are a very strong 3-1, and they're looking to win now -- unlike the Browns, who appear to be renovating down to the foundations. Mark Sanchez(notes) is coming along nicely, but offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has no real deep threats and the Jets currently rank 30th in Pass Defense DVOA. It's a solid gamble in a division stocked with Randy Moss(notes) and Terrell Owens(notes). The challenge for Edwards will be whether he can keep his head straight in an unforgiving media market, playing on a team with a coach who will accept very little in the way of B.S., and a very good overall chemistry. If Edwards figures it out, he'll be a key part of a team that can go very deep in the playoffs, and he'll bring the most value possible in his contract year. If he doesn't? Well, the Jets had to take their shot, and receivers with Edwards' raw talent aren't on the blocks every day. It'll be Edwards who feels the ramifications of a lost season.

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