Braylon Edwards is back with the New York Jets – a week after bashing them.
The veteran wide receiver was awarded to New York off waivers from Seattle on Tuesday as the Jets try to bolster their injured receiving corps with a familiar face. Edwards, waived by Seattle on Monday, developed a good rapport with Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez in helping New York to consecutive trips to the AFC title game in 2009 and 2010.
Edwards reiterated his feelings for Sanchez last week when he took to Twitter and criticized the Jets organization.
With coach Rex Ryan contemplating whether Sanchez would remain the starting quarterback or be replaced by third-stringer Greg McElroy, Edwards wrote on Twitter last Tuesday that people shouldn’t blame Sanchez.
”I played there,” he wrote. ”Blame the idiots calling shots. Mark is a beast and will (prove) it when given a proper chance.”
He tweeted an apology later that day for his ”emotional outburst,” and added: ”Mark is a friend and former teammate, who I wholeheartedly support. Nonetheless, I have disrespected and insulted an administration that I have the utmost respect for.”
A week later, all was apparently forgiven and forgotten.
Edwards had already changed his Twitter avatar to a picture of him smiling in a Jets uniform less than an hour after being claimed off waivers.
”It feels great to be going home,” he wrote on Twitter. ”Thanks to all of jet nation that continuously supported me and pushed for me. I’m back and it’s go time.”
Edwards was released Monday from the Seahawks’ injury-reserve list after less than one unproductive season in Seattle. He had just eight catches for 74 yards and a touchdown in 10 games after signing a one-year deal in July. He spent last season in San Francisco, catching 15 passes for 181 yards in nine games with the 49ers.
While Edwards has dealt with knee issues since not being re-signed by New York following the 2010 season, he might provide the offense a much-needed boost. Rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill sprained the lateral collateral ligament in his right knee in the team’s 17-10 win at Jacksonville on Sunday, and he could be sidelined a few weeks.
New York is also without top receiver Santonio Holmes, who suffered a season-ending foot injury early this season, and Clyde Gates is still dealing with a concussion. That left only Jeremy Kerley, Chaz Schilens, journeyman Mardy Gilyard and rookie Jordan White as healthy players at the position.
Edwards could also provide a stabilizing presence in the locker room for Sanchez, who has struggled mightily this season. The 29-year-old Edwards is a terrific blocker, perfect for Tony Sparano’s run-first offense, and has a history with Sanchez. He had 88 catches and 11 touchdowns in two seasons with the Jets, and also had an 80-yard catch – the longest in the team’s postseason history – against Indianapolis in the 2009 playoffs.
Edwards has also been a personal favorite of Ryan, who was asked Monday if the Jets would be interested in bringing him back.
”You guys know what I’ve always said about Braylon in the past, so you know how I feel about him,” Ryan said. ”But right now, I think we’ll just focus on the guys we have.”
Well, now Edwards is one of the guys – again.
He had some legal troubles during his first tenure in New York, where he was arrested in September 2010 on a drunken driving charge. The Jets suspended him for a quarter in the team’s next game at Miami.
Edwards, a first-round pick by Cleveland out of Michigan in 2005, has also been highly involved in charitable causes during his career. He spent $1 million dollars last year to send 100 high school students to college as part of his foundation’s ”Advance 100 Program.”
After four seasons with the Browns, Edwards was traded to the Jets after four games in 2009 for wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik and a third- and fifth-round draft pick in the 2010 draft. He has 349 career receptions for 5,397 yards and 40 touchdowns.