While the rest of the NFL players were still trying to make sense of the owners newest CBA proposal, Braylon Edwards took to a Manhattan court room this morning to enter a guilty plea for a misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated.
According to Jenny Vrentas of the Newark-Star Ledger, “He will be fined $500, his license will be suspended for six months and he must continue to participate in the NFL’s substance abuse program.” However this is unlikely to be the last we hear of this issue.
Edwards was already on probation in Cleveland when the arrest occurred and he could be called back to Cleveland for a hearing on violating the terms of that probation. Then there is the fact that with at least one judge behind him, Edwards will still have to deal with another one, one named Roger Goodell as Edwards will no doubt have to answer for his ‘conduct detrimental to the shield.’
The timing of this decision is interesting to say the least, but it appears Edwards just wanted it to be over. “I feel good; I feel like it came to a fair conclusion. I’m happy this is past us and now it’s time to focus on football.” Edwards told Vrentas.
Now the question becomes where will he be focusing on playing football again. Edwards confirmed that he would indeed like to stay with the Jets and hopes to sign a deal within the 72-hour grace period teams will have to re-sign their own free agents, but its not going to be that simple. Especially not with a possible suspension looming over him.
Its no secret that the Jets first priority is signing Santonio Holmes, if they do sign Holmes is it possible the Jets decide to let Edwards walk and not risk dealing with any potential suspension? Maybe sign Plaxico Burress instead?
If however, the Jets can’t sign Holmes, say Dan Snyder and the Redskins empty the vault for him, then its almost a given Edwards will return.
Edwards continues to say he will give the Jets a hometown discount to stay, but the truth is he might not really have a choice. The possibility of a suspension might prove to be a discount of its own, whether Edwards wants to realize it or not.
Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum will have his work cut out for him once the NFL reopens its doors as it appears he will have to get extremely creative to retain all the players he wants under the new salary-cap. But as of now the specifics on that are all very blurry and there are even rumors that there will be something in the rules to make it easier on teams to re-sign veteran free agents without killing the cap. Those are just rumors for now though and the back-and-forth of the last 24 hours should be all one needs to know to not trust rumors too much one way or another.
Keeping Edwards would be huge for the Jets, not only is he a dangerous weapon with big-time play-making ability, who demands attention from the defense, but he is probably the best blocking wideout in the league and with this Jets team that unique talent tends to come in handy.
Edwards wants to stay with the Jets. The Jets would like Edwards to stay as well, but the question will be at what price? Hopefully we’re only days away from finding out.
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