Bye Bye, Braylon

The Browns have traded Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets for a wide receiver, a linebacker/special teams player, and two draft choices. Except for one terrific year, Edwards was a constant headache and head case who seemed to drop more passes than he caught. I know nothing about the players the Browns received in return, but I guess I don’t really care. Edwards was the Browns’ legitimate deep threat, but a deep threat is meaningless if he can’t consistently catch the ball. I’d rather the Browns’ other receivers get a chance to play and develop and that the Browns stockpile draft picks in what clearly is going to be a lost year.

Edwards’ departure adds another dismal entry to the Browns’ record of incredibly inept use of first round draft choices in the years since their return to the NFL. Tim Couch, Courtney Brown, Gerard Warren, William Green, Jeff Faine, Kellen Winslow, and Braylon Edwards all were first-round choices who underperformed due to injury, lack of talent, poor coaching, or some other excuse. Whereas other teams are built on the strong foundation of first-round choices, the Browns have nothing to show except steady Joe Thomas, an underachieving Brady Quinn, and last year’s choice Alex Mack. No wonder they are so awful this year! With the economics of the modern NFL and the size of the contracts given to first-round picks, any team that does not get significant production from their recent top draft choices is crippled. The Browns’ record of first-round picks is so stunningly bad that they would be better served, as a matter of policy, by trading away the first-round choices to get proven NFL talent.

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