Braylon Edwards to dress despite arrest

Updated: September 22, 2010, 10:34 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Braylon Edwards will dress when the New York Jets play at Miami Sunday night, but he will not start after being charged with driving while intoxicated on Tuesday.

"In light of the facts as we have them, [coach] Rex [Ryan], [owner] Woody [Johnson] and I have decided he will not start," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "He will dress, he will play at some point. When, we don't know. This is an area we pour a lot of organizational resources into. We're very disappointed in what happened."

Earlier Tuesday, the Jets revealed that two of Edwards' teammates were with him when he was pulled over and -- to his surprise -- arrested for driving while intoxicated in the early-morning hours Tuesday. Tannenbaum said there will be no sanctions against those players -- left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson and defensive end Vernon Gholston.

The wide receiver appeared in court late Tuesday afternoon in ripped jeans, wearing a black T-shirt with the words "One Love" on the front and silver angel wings on the back, to answer the DWI charges.

Police documents, parts of which were read aloud during the hearing at the Manhattan Criminal Courts Building, revealed that he didn't understand why he was pulled over.

"Why was I stopped for tints when my driving didn't lead you to believe I was drunk driving?" Edwards said, according to the report of the arresting officer, Armando Urbina.

Officers on the lookout for vehicle violations like excessively tinted windows or missing registration stickers pulled over Edwards' white Land Rover on Manhattan's West Side at 4:47 a.m. ET and noticed a strong smell of alcohol and that he had bloodshot, watery eyes, the police report states.

"I had a couple of drinks," Edwards said to the officer, according to the police report.

There were four other people in the car with Edwards at the time, two of them his teammates.

According to the arrest report, the officer asked Edwards when he had his last drink.

"About an hour ago," Edwards responded.

Urbina asked Edwards if he was familiar with a breathalyzer. He responded that he was but asked why he would not undergo a field sobriety test like in Michigan, where he went to college. The officer said that was not procedure in New York.

Edwards said to Urbina: "How about I just leave the car and take a cab and go home?"

But the wide receiver did undergo the breathalyzer exam, blew a .16 and was arrested.

Edwards has had his license suspended and will have to appear in court Nov. 9 to answer the charges. After the court appearance, he left in a black Cadillac Escalade SUV to go to the Jets training facility and speak with team officials.

When asked if he had any comment on the situation, Edwards said: "There will be plenty of time to talk. I'll address everybody."

But his attorney, Peter Frankel, said: "He wants to speak to his teammates and he wants to speak to his coach."

Frankel added that Edwards "hadn't slept in two days."

The attorney said he would challenge how the breathalyzer was administered, but he did not offer more details.

Frankel also was apparently annoyed by prosecuting attorney Alyssa Gunther's relaying with such detail the conversation between Urbina and Edwards. During the court appearance, Frankel said sarcastically that he "appreciated the candor," which caused his fellow attorneys to laugh quietly. But he did say to the judge that he hoped it would be "dealt with along the line."

This isn't Edwards' first off-the-field issue. The Jets acquired Edwards, a former first-round pick out of Michigan in 2005, from the Cleveland Browns only days after he was accused of punching a man outside a Cleveland nightclub in October 2009.

The victim was an acquaintance of LeBron James'. Edwards pleaded not guilty at the time, but he ended up pleading no contest to misdemeanor aggravated disorderly conduct. He received probation and a $1,000 fine.

Pending the outcome of the New York City case, Edwards may have to return to Cleveland to face a possible probation violation, which could carry jail time. The Cleveland Municipal Court judge handling his case has been notified of his New York arrest, court spokesman Ed Ferenc said.

Gunther said in court that the district attorney's office is "still investigating the circumstances of the Cleveland incident."

Edwards currently can only be disciplined under the league's substance abuse policy, in which he faces a maximum fine of $50,000 under terms of the collective bargaining agreement. According to a league spokesman, teams can't suspend or deactivate a player for an alcohol-related offense.

"Braylon's actions clearly come under the purview of the league's substance abuse policy," Tannenbaum said. "This is going to have to run its course through the legal system, and any discipline that occurs will be by the league under that program."

If Edwards is convicted or pleads no contest he likely will be subject to the league's personal conduct policy and face a possible suspension, a league source clarified to ESPN NFL Insider Chris Mortensen late Tuesday.

Edwards' misdemeanor disorderly conduct conviction in Ohio resulted in a previously undisclosed fine of his first game check of an estimated $200,000, even though he was not suspended by commissioner Roger Goodell, the source said.

A conviction or no contest plea likely would be viewed as a second violation of the personal conduct policy, a league official said.

The Jets had few options in terms of discipline due to the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. Any punishment they would dole out now -- other than what the NFL eventually decides -- would violate the CBA. That means the Jets could not deactivate him or keep him active and not play him without risking a violation.

In August 2008, Edwards was stopped for driving 120 mph in a 65 mph zone on an interstate near Cleveland. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Edwards already had his left hand out of the window, holding his driver's license and registration, as the officer approached the vehicle. Edwards hadn't been drinking and wasn't intoxicated, police told the newspaper, but Edwards' passenger vomited on the dashboard.

In March 2009, Edwards was drinking with teammate Donte' Stallworth in Miami Beach, Fla., the night Stallworth killed a pedestrian while driving. Edwards wasn't at the scene of the accident and wasn't charged. Stallworth was suspended for a year.

While with the Browns in 2009, Edwards was fined $1,701 by coach Eric Mangini for failing to pay for a $3 bottle of water on his hotel incidentals. The fine was so high, sources said, because Edwards already had accumulated several team violations.

ESPNNewYork.com's Jane McManus, Ian Begley, Rich Cimini and information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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