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One of the most encouraging stories of the Jets off-season was the reported progress wide receiver Braylon Edwards was making in the offense. He impressed the coaching staff with his level of commitment and the shape he got himself into, which had many around the organization projecting a big year for him.
There was rightfully some skepticism. Edwards has struggled with consistency his entire career and in 12 games for the Jets only pulled in 35 receptions, 541 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Most people were more excited about Dustin Keller and believed when Santonio Holmes returned, Edwards would fade into the background and make it a no brainer for the Jets to re-sign Holmes after the season and let Edwards walk.
However, despite Keller’s strong start and the return of Holmes the past two weeks. Edwards leads the Jets in receiving yards with 343 and has already piled up 4 touchdowns in 6 games. He allowed the Jets to weather the Holmes suspension by being a legitimate number one receiver and consistently providing a big play threat. Edwards already has three touchdown receptions of 30 yards or more, along with another reception over 30 yards to go with it. He is averaging an impressive 16.3 yards per catch, which is the highest of his career.
Even as Santonio Holmes becomes more acclimated to the offense, Edwards brings a needed height presence in the red zone and big play capability on the other side of the formation. He is looking like a borderline 1,000 yard receiver who could approach double digits in touchdowns in 2010, which is a level of production that most didn’t expect from him.
In terms of the off-season, it will be interesting to see if the Jets can find a way to re-sign Holmes and Edwards. The only way that would happen is if, the market for Edwards isn’t as strong as should be because of his DUI incident mixed with his previous off the field problems or if Edwards comes back to the Jets for less, considering how they stuck by him after the DUI. As of the right now, Edwards is going to have to realize that even despite his production David Harris, Antonio Cromartie (because of his pro-bowl caliber play and Kyle Wilson’s struggles), and likely Santonio Holmes will all be bigger priorities for the Jets.
This could very well be #17′s last season in New York, so it is good to see that at least on the field, he is getting the job done.
Edwards 2010 Highlights