Receiver Braylon Edwards played for the New York Jets through most of the 2009 season and all of the 2010 campaign, which happened to be quarterback Mark Sanchez’s first two years with the team. He caught 88 passes for 1,445 yards and 11 touchdowns before moving on to the San Francisco 49ers in 2011 and the Seattle Seahawks in 2012. He hasn’t done much since he traded in Gang Green for the NFC West, catching just 23 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown in his past two seasons.
But on Tuesday, seemingly unprovoked by anything or anyone else, Edwards put the 5-7 Jets’ front office on blast when considering the current Sanchez situation, and the fact that Sanchez seems to get a lot of the blame for the team’s current issues. From his Twitter account:
Well, alrighty then. Edwards later triedto clarify his comments via Twitter:
I would like to apologize to the Jets family and my fans for my emotional outburst. 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.
Edwards may have been trying to mend fences, because the now former Seahawks receiver was waived/injured by the team on Tuesday.
Sanchez was benched in Sunday’s 7-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in favor of Greg McElroy after throwing three interceptions in a performance that could only be described as pathetic. This season, he’s completed just 55 percent of his passes and he’s thrown 12 touchdowns to 13 interceptions. He’s also fumbled 10 times.
In retrospect, the team’s decision to trade for Tim Tebow can be seen as an enormous mistake, except through the narrow public relations and marketing view that was probably the key to that move in the first place. The Jets’ coaching staff doesn’t seem to have any clue how to use Tebow, who was relatively effective in Denver’s offense in 2011. General manager Mike Tannenbaum has made his share of mistakes in the last few years, and head coach Rex Ryan doesn’t always seem to know how to run that particular asylum. It’s a tough job when everybody’s talking about you for all the wrong reasons.
But in the end, Sanchez’s current situation is Sanchez’s fault. He was somewhat productive in his first two seasons, when the Jets had a strong running game and defense, and he could be managed in that particular situation. He was decent in 2011, but anyone expecting a huge jump in 2012 may have been playing hope against reality. When he was asked to shoulder more of the load in the last two seasons, he has rarely shown the specific attributes needed to become a top-tier quarterback in the NFL.
The Jets took a gamble on Sanchez’s future, signing him to a five-year, $58.25 million contract extension in March that guarantees his 2012 and 2013 base salaries. If the Jets did want to move on from Sanchez after this year, they’d have to pay out $8.25 million. And the way he’s played this season, Sanchez might be the type of quarterback you’d pay to not play on your team.
We don’t know what the Jets’ future is, and we don’t know if Tannenbaum and Ryan will be part of the discussion after this season. But when discussing what’s gone wrong with the Jets, Sanchez has to take a lot of the blame.
I talked to Edwards a few times since he came to Seattle, and he’s not generally a confrontational guy. He didn’t make a big impact with the Seahawks, but was good in the locker room and his teammates seemed to like and respect him.
“I like what they’ve got going on out here,” Edwards told the Seattle media on July 31, when his current deal was worked out. “Just walking and talking to these guys. When I came on my interview, it’s just a high, positive organization. Just walking around, there’s a lot of positivity and you can just see the energy that these guys have. These guys are happy to come out and play for coach [Pete] Carroll, they’re happy to play for their position coaches, and it seems like they have the team moving in the right direction. That’s something that I definitely want to be a part of going into my eighth year.”
Clearly, Edwards didn’t want the Jets, or the Jets didn’t want him. We’d expect to hear more from the players in that current locker room when the Jets’ disappointing season is over. As for Edwards, he’ll have to find that buzz somewhere else.
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