With the recent rumors of the Giants being in trade talks for WR Braylon Edwards, I thought I would give some insight into the situation…
The Giants obviously need to do something about their wide receiver position. Jerry Reese did state that the team will take Plax back if he doesn’t face jail time, but they can’t afford to just wait out the Plaxico Burress situation because that could take months. It’s really the only major need this team has right now, and someone has to and will be done.
This teams window to win is now, Jerry Reese and the Giants organization know this. We know that Jerry “looks into every option out there”, but this is something I believe he’s serious about. We had the highest scoring offense in the league before Plax went Cheddar Bob on us. When he was out teams were able to key on the run because there was no need to double anyone on the outside, which hurt also hurt Smith and Boss. There was no one on the roster with his height and play making ability. Hixon has great potential and did an admirable job filling in for Burress, but he clearly wasn’t ready to be thrown in as the number one WR.
Edwards would be an ideal fit for this offense because he brings a game similar to that of Burress. Braylon can go up and get those jump balls and the defense must respect his game breaking ability. He’s a young (26) player that has the ability to produce at a high level. Although he had a down year in ’08 (55 rec/873 yds/3 tds) so did the entire Cleveland Browns team, especially the quarterback position which struggled through injuries and ineptitude throughout the year. Edwards put up All-Pro numbers in ’07 (80 rec/1,289 yds/16 tds/ ’07 Highlights) so it’s not a question of if he has the skill to be a number one, because clearly he can. In my opinion he is a much better fit for our offense than Anquan Boldin (who has also been linked to the Giants in some trade talks) would be. Anquan is best suited in a West Coast offense similar to the one ran by the Eagles.
Although things may have quieted down you can expect things to heat up again in the coming weeks. Edwards, who is on the last year of his contract has stated he wants out of Cleveland. Also Mangini wants to build his team with “his” players and he wants to collect more draft picks. The Giants are in the market for a wide out and your not really going to find a better play maker (that fits in our system) available via trade than Braylon Edwards.
So lets say the Giants and Browns are able to work something out in the coming weeks. I’ll go with something like Braylon Edwards for a 2nd (from the Saints) + 4th + Sinorice Moss/David Tyree. You would then have two possible scenarios:
Plaxico Burress plays with the Giants in ’09
This is the ideal scenario, one in which our offense would become lethal. If the Giants are able to trade for Edwards AND Burress is cleared to play in ’09 the receiver core becomes one of the most feared in the game. You would have Plax and Braylon on the outside, two big game game breakers. In the slot you have the reliable Steve Smith, and as your 4th and 5th guy you have the young and explosive Hixon and Manningham. This gives us the ability to put Hixon at returner again to help with field position. Also if all the recent buzz on Manningham is true and he has really developed, that’s one of the better five wide receiver sets your going to find. Mix that in with Boss and the running back trio of Jacobs, Bradshaw, and Ware =
Plaxico Burress is not with the Giants/ in jail in ’09
The Giants would still be in great shape in this scenario. If we are able to attain Edwards the potential blow of losing Plax is lessened greatly. Edwards would fill in at Plaxico’s spot, Steve Smith and Domenik Hixon would compete in training camp to be the other starter. The loser of the battle would look to play the slot with Manningham working in some and being the fourth guy. Depending on which WR the Giants trade to Cleveland another wide out could be drafted later one to fill the back end of the roster.
Either way adding Braylon Edwards to this team would be a huge move for the franchise and greatly help its chances for success in 2009.