The trade that sent Braylon Edwards to the Jets is perceived to be a “slam dunk” by many. The Jets and their fans I’m sure are happy. Eric Mangini seems to be happy. Some in the Cleveland media also seem to be happy.
Yet, there is a group that isn’t so sure this move is in the best interest of their ball club. And this group should be the group that matters the most, the Cleveland Browns players.
Quarterback Derek Anderson, who teamed with Edwards for Pro Bowl seasons in 2007, was distraught about losing “a guy that I trusted.”
“I think he’s made a lot of plays for me,” Anderson said. “He’s gotten me better. I think I’ve gotten him better. Regardless of whether he dropped a ball, nothing was ever personal. I have a great respect for him. He’s a friend. We’ve been here five years together. We like one another. You just don’t come to work with guys and [not have] fun.”
Quarterback Brady Quinn said he was wearing Edwards’ shoes at practice as a tribute to him.
“[Braylon's] a great player, a good teammate and a good friend. I can’t do anything but wish him the best,” Quinn said.
Linebacker D’Qwell Jackson, another captain, didn’t agree with Mangini’s statement that the trade is good for the Browns in the short term and long term.
“That’s tough to call. I wouldn’t say that,” Jackson said. “Braylon’s a good friend of mine. A great talent. Sometimes a move is a better move for that person.”
It’s clear Eric Mangini is trying to put his stamp on the football team, but it could take time. Time that he may not have. His quarterback situation isn’t stable, he’s traded away his two biggest weapons in Edwards and tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., and his team is second guessing him at every stop. Has he lost his team? Maybe not. But it won’t take much more for him to lose them.