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Tavern talk: The Jets get their receiver

Mangini’s familiarity helps Braylon Edwards land in the Big Apple. Michael Lombardi

Print This October 07, 2009, 05:36 PM EST

Do you think Eric Mangini and the Jets are on speed dial? I think Mangini must subscribe to the Peter Frampton theory I wrote about last week---only has a few players he knows. The Braylon Edwards deal today is another trade the Jets were able to make because of the familiarity of Mangini with the Jets roster. Essentially, the Jets gave up two middle-round picks and some backup players for a young, talented receiver who has scored 25 career touchdowns. Not a bad deal if you can make it.

In all trades, someone assumes more of the risk, whether it be the risk of hitting right on the draft picks or the risk that the player acquired can perform. In this case, the Jets have marginal risk in the fact that Edwards can regain the form from the 2007 season where he caught 16 touchdown passes. Edwards was never in good graces with Mangini and he was destined to be traded since last winter. Now he goes to a playoff contender who runs the same offensive system as he had in Cleveland. He gets to play for a creative offensive mind in Brian Schottenheimer who can utilize his down-the-field ability, and once the confidence of his hands comes back, he might be just what the doctor ordered for the Jets.

Edwards was very disappointing in 2008, in part due to his drops and also because of the inconsistent accuracy of both Browns starting quarterbacks. Edwards has much to prove in New York, but he does bring size, speed and power to meet the expectations if he can gain some confidence catching the ball. These drops happen to wide receivers all the time. Plaxico Burress, when playing with the Steelers and the Giants, had moments of sheer brilliance with his hands and moments of utter despair—but he could make the down-the-field play, which is what Edwards can bring to the Jets. If you believe what Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis said about where the Jets would be had Mangini stayed on as head coach (1-3), then you must believe that Edwards can turn his game around once he leaves the secret zone of Cleveland.

What do the Brownies gain from making the trade? They get someone familiar with their offense in Chansi Stuckey, who can win with his quickness at the line and is very good with the ball in his hands. He is not a starter, but may be an effective slot nickel player. Jason Trusnik can provide some depth at linebacker, and the draft picks in question are predicated on Mangini’s ability to select players. If the Browns can gain a starting caliber player with the potentially low third-round pick acquired from the Jets, they can balance the deal. The key for the Browns is Mangini gains more players who may not like his style of coaching, but will cause a mutiny in the locker room. Mangini wants a certain kind of player around him, but from my outside prospective, is that kind of player good enough to win with in the NFL? Looking at his roster, I strongly doubt they can.

The Frampton theory comes alive in Cleveland…

Former Jets Players
ACQUIRED BY BROWNS IN 2009
                                 Transaction
LB Eric Barton               Signed
LB David Bowens           Signed
DE Kenyon Coleman      Trade
S Abram Elam               Trade
DT C.J. Mosley              Signed
CB Hank Poteat             Signed
QB Brett Ratliff               Trade
DT Brian Schaefering      Signed
WR Chansi Stuckey       Trade
LB Jason Trusnik            Trade

Browns owner Randy Lerner better hope he was correct in placing his confidence in Mangini, because there is much at stake in the coming months. As for the Jets, do you think they give Mangini a playoff share if these two players become the reason for the Jets’ ultimate success?

Follow me on Twitter: michaelombardi

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