By Christian Binder, WSOE Sports
On Tuesday, October 7, two huge moves went down in the NFL that, honestly, were quite surprising. The New York Jets acquired troubled wideout Braylon Edwards from the Cleveland Browns and the San Francisco 49ers signed holdout Michael Crabtree to a six-year deal. Edwards brings the Jets a legitimate number-one receiver, something they have lacked for the better part of this decade. The 49ers got the assurance that they will not lose their number-one pick and, hopefully, he will provide QB Shaun Hill a downfield threat in the passing game.
The most shocking part of the Edwards deal was how relatively little the Jets gave up for him. WR Chansi Stuckey and special teamer Jason Trusnik were both shipped to the Browns in addition to two draft picks, believed to be 3rd- and 5th-rounders. Stuckey has been inconsistent in his two years in the league and has failed to live up to his expectations as a viable slot receiver this year. He will be replaced by David Clowney, who is also in his third year in the league. The key for Edwards’ success in New York is attitude. The Jets already have good chemistry in the locker room, thanks in large part to head coach Rex Ryan, and Edwards will have to become a part of that and avoid being a distraction. Presumably, Edwards will have to prove himself as the team’s number-one receiver by performing extremely well in practice, as Jerricho Cotchery went into the season as the number-one option for rookie QB Mark Sanchez. It will be interesting to see how Edwards’ presence affects a game because Jets receivers have been unable to get separation from defensive backs this season. Edwards is a threat to go deep, which should loosen up the secondary and allow players like tight end Dustin Keller to catch balls across the middle. While all of this sounds well and good, the Jets will have to wait and see if Edwards has any punishment awaiting him, since he allegedly punched a club promoter in Cleveland, who happened to be a friend of LeBron James, several days ago. As for now, the Jets will proceed like he will be a part of the team come Sunday.
Michael Crabtree finally ended all of his drama with the 49ers and agreed to a six-year deal, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed. This is great news for the 49ers, who are already off to a 3-1 start, but not so much because of their offense. The defense, led by linebacker Patrick Willis, has only allowed 53 points through 4 games and has the team looking for its first division title since 2002. Shaun Hill has played great, completing 62.3% of his passes with 5 touchdowns to only 1 interception. Crabtree should instantly open up the passing game, which will make opposing defenses stop focusing on running back Frank Gore so much. However, Crabtree is a work in progress, so it could be a few weeks before he starts making plays. Crabtree made the best move for both himself and his team and it will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out.