Braylon Edwards has one last opportunity to prove that he’s not useless, and he’s not a rapidly decaying waste of talent.
And when the Seahawks signed Edwards they may not be dreaming an impossible dream. Yes, we’re saying there’s a chance for Edwards to do something productive again, but only a chance.
Edwards has signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, which advances the one-year deal phase of his career that started last year with an identical contract in San Francisco.
There’s equal doses of reasons to be encouraged and discouraged with Edwards. He struggled with the 49ers last year, and that was largely because of a knee injury that limited him to a very Chad Johnson-like 15 catches over nine games. So what, right? Chalk that up to a year lost to an injury, and start over in a new environment. Edwards isn’t young, but he isn’t old either, and at 29 he’s a middle-aged receiver.
Thanks for that reasoning, eternal optimists, but a healthy Edwards is still merely an adequate Edwards, and at his very best he’s a No. 2 wideout who’s now on a team that has plenty of those. Edwards is only one year removed from a productive year with the Jets in which he finished with 904 receiving yards and seven touchdowns, which were both the second highest totals of his career. But between 2010 and his career-year in 2007 that’s now the epitome of aberration (1,289 yards and 16 TDs), there’s a whole lot of mediocrity.
He’s been good, but rarely the elite receiver who was once worthy of a third overall pick, and if we take away those two outlying years in 2007 and 2010, he’s averaged only 521.7 yards per season over the other six years.
A healthy Edwards can be productive, and in a beautiful Utopia if Sidney Rice can stay healthy too the Seahawks will have the ideal deep threat pairing for whoever they decide to start at quarterback between Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson, Matt Flynn, and the Geico caveman guy.
It’s far more realistic, though, for Edwards to serve as a depth option, and if Rice is healthy he’d then compete for the third WR role with Golden Tate, Ben Obomanu, and Antonio Bryant, with Doug Baldwin likely starting. As Rice goes through his yearly routine of nursing his mummified body, Edwards will be insurance against further injury, and a veteran fallback option if Rice’s recovery lingers.
That’s where Edwards’ career is now. He’s insurance, and a cheap gamble on a resurgence in which he reclaims his youth.