Braylon Edwards wants to stay with Jets
MISSION VIEJO, Calif. -- One month after receiving partner Santonio Holmes expressed a "show-me-the-money" approach toward his next contract, Braylon Edwards -- also a free agent -- admitted Wednesday that he'd take a hometown discount to remain with the New York Jets.
Posturing comes in all different forms.
"If it's close, nobody is going to argue over 500 [thousand] to a million," said Edwards, who made his debut at Mark Sanchez's week-long "Jets West" passing camp. "You get close, let's do it."
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A relaxed Edwards reiterated his desire to remain in New York, painting himself as a team-oriented player who just wants to win. He said he's not caught up in being considered a No. 1 receiver. At the same time, he wondered about the dynamic of the Jets' receiving corps.
It's a fluid position because Holmes and Brad Smith also are unsigned, although they will be restricted free agents if the 2010 CBA rules are kept. Because he has six credited seasons, Edwards will be unrestricted no matter what.
"Whose ego will be willing to drop their guard to make it work for the betterment of the team?" Edwards asked rhetorically, adding, "Can egos work together or will they clash? My ego, I'm not clashing."
Edwards didn't mention names, but you have to wonder if he was alluding to Holmes' complaints about not starting and missing the first few plays of the AFC Championship Game.
The Jets have some tough decisions to make because it may be financially prohibitive to retain all three players. What makes the situation so compelling is that Holmes and Edwards have different skill sets as receivers. Edwards (6-3, 215) believes his size could give him added leverage in negotiations.
He said the Jets told him after the season that they want to re-sign him. But he added, "That was never a question. Now it's a matter of, how much do they want me back?"
Edwards, who made $6.2 million last season on a one-year contract, claimed he's "not aiming for the moon." But he quickly added that he has "earned a certain amount of money ... I think I've put myself in a certain ballpark."
After an early-season drunk-driving arrest, which has yet to be adjudicated, Edwards came on strong toward the end of the season and finished with 53 receptions and seven touchdowns -- both team highs.
Edwards said he doesn't want to sign with a rebuilding team, but he indicated he wouldn't mind going to a team on the rise. He mentioned the Detroit Lions, saying he'd form a deadly tandem with Calvin Johnson. He grew up near Detroit and starred at Michigan. Thing is, the Lions drafted Boise State's Titus Young in the second round.
As much as he said he loves the Jets, Edwards hinted that he felt under-utilized at times last season. When he sits down at the bargaining table with the Jets, he'd like to hear them say they will do a better job of feeding him the ball when he has a favorable matchup.
"There were a lot of games where I felt I could've made more plays," he said, adding, "It's not about being the No. 1 [receiver]; that doesn't bother me. It's about utilizing me and my talents a little more in certain games."
After skipping the first two days of the passing camp due to personal reasons, Edwards said he's planning to stay a few days extra to work individually with Sanchez -- "the guy I plan on playing with in the future," he said.
Holmes, speaking to reporters last month in New Jersey, was non-committal on his future with the Jets. He demanded a multiyear contract and said, if he's unrestricted, he'd sign "the best deal for me."
Rich Cimini covers the Jets for ESPNNewYork.com.
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