Yesterday it was reported that the Browns had talked about trading WR Braylon Edwards. That news excited Eagles Nation in a big way. It was about the same as me watching The Great Texas Dynamite Chase on HBO in 1977. Claudia Jennings was a very talented actress. I digress.
We all know the Eagles masses want a stud WR. Braylon might be that guy..."might" being the key word. He played like a Top 5 WR in 2007, but hasn't come close to that level in other seasons.
The argument for him is that '07 was the only year he got strong QB play. Braylon responded with 80 catches and 16 TDs. He looked the part of an elite receiver. He's only 26. He is big at 6'3, 215. He has pretty good speed. There is a lot to like.
The argument against him is that he's been inconsistent and he drops too many passes. People will point out that TO drops passes. Yes, he does. And for him to be productive an inordinate amount of throws have to go his way. In 2004 TO didn't seem to drop as many balls. He made big plays and the offense flourished. He was more erratic in 2005. Remember the season opener? Owens caught 7 passes for 112 yards. The numbers sound good, but he had about 15 passes go his way. The offense struggled (only 10 points), but TO got his catches and yards. They just didn't come in the flow of the attack.
According to STATS, Inc. here are some 2008 numbers for Braylon:
Target - 138
Caught - 55
Drops - 16
Pct Caught - 39.9
Pct 1st down - 30.4
Here is DeSean:
Target - 121
Caught - 62
Drops - 6
Pct Caught - 51.2
Pct 1st down - 35.5
I'm not saying Braylon is a bad player and the Eagles should avoid him. I'm simply trying to point out the whole picture. There is a lot to like, but there are concerns as well. If this was Andre Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, or Calvin Johnson...I'd scream for us to make the deal. Those guys look special. Braylon had a great year in the middle of 3 solid seasons.
One of the keys is value. I would not give up one of our 1st round picks for Edwards. The report is that the Browns talked to the Giants and wanted a 2nd, 5th, and Steve Smith. NY offered Hixon in Smith's place and Cleveland said no thanks.
If we could do the deal for a 2nd, 5th, and Reggie Brown, that would be awfully tempting. I don't know if the Browns would be interested. They aren't just looking for a WR + picks. They turned down Hixon. They obviously want the right guy. Reggie might or might not fit the bill.
One thing does bug me about Braylon. He got mad at some point and said he wanted out of Cleveland because the fans wouldn't accept him. He thinks they hold the fact he's a Michigan guy against him. Cleveland is the heart of Ohio State country so I'm sure he gets razzed somewhat, but gimme a break. That is a lame excuse in my mind. Eagles fans had no problem accepting Jerome Brown. He was from hated Miami, but became a beloved figure because he played well. Is Edwards mentally and emotionally tough enough for Philly?
He has spent 4 years in Cleveland, a highly dysfunctional organization. That kind of situation can bring out the worst in you. The Eagles are a solid organization. Edwards would have a structured environment here. That might bring out the best in him.
I'm sure the Eagles will feel the Browns out to see what the asking price is. The Eagles do like to know what's going on. If the price is reasonable, you could see some talks going on. Don't count on anything. The Browns may decide at some point that Edwards is too good to get rid of. The Eagles could also get outbid by a team that is desperate for a WR. We have solid starters in DeSean and Curtis. Teams like Oakland, Jacksonville, and the Jets could all make a strong play feeling like they need a starter and not just an upgrade.
One thing to be sure of is that the Eagles will do their research. They'll check out Edwards, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Peters, and any other veteran players rumored to be on the block that fit holes on our team. The Eagles will only pull the trigger if they feel the price is right. Speaking of which...something tells me Joe Banner would be good in the Showcase Showdown. He's very good with assessing value.
* In a previous post I mentioned the Eagles not spending a 5th round pick on a Fullback because of the Weaver signing. I went back and checked and in 2004, with Jon Ritchie as the starter, we did spend a 5th (#162) on Thomas Tapeh. Based on that, we could spend a mid to late 5th on a FB. I don't know if Quinn Johnson or Tony Fiametta lasts that long. I'm certainly not objecting to adding a FB. I'm just looking back at previous drafting patterns for a reference point. The lack of good FB play could cause the team to be more aggressive than usual in addressing the spot.