In the AFC Championship Game, Braylon Edwards showed just how dangerous a weapon he could be for Mark Sanchez and the Jets offense when he caught an 80-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
General manager Mike Tannenbaum wants to see more connections like that between his quarterback and star wideout in 2010 and, just as importantly, wants to see fewer drops from Edwards. Before that big score, numerous touchdowns turned into incompletions thanks to Edwards’s mistake-prone paws. Speaking at the combine Friday, Tannenbaum outlined his ideal scenario.
“With Braylon this is going to be a really important offseason for him
in terms of being more acclimated with our offense and working with
Mark every day. Braylon did a lot of great things for us. It’s a really important
offseason for him to be with us all the time because I really think it
will give him the opportunity to be a better player to be in our
program every day.”
The only two problems with that outlook are that Sanchez isn’t expected to be doing much other than rehabbing from knee surgery for the next couple of months and that many reps at the collegiate and pro level haven’t done much to make Edwards better at catching the ball. Still, working on the problem is better than just throwing your hands up and accepting it.
Edwards, a restricted free agent, is expected to get the highest tender from the Jets, which would pay him $5.5 million if he stays and give the Jets first and third-round picks if he’s signed by another team. That makes his return to the Jets very likely, something that can’t be said for running back Thomas Jones.
Tannenbaum talked about the veteran’s future on Friday as well and it sounded a lot like the kind of speech you give about Stu from accounting before giving him a gold watch and sending him off to the golf course.
“All I can say is we were fortunate we traded for him three years ago. He has done a lot of great things for us on the field
and even more off the field. He’s really been our leader, a tireless
worker, he’s a really good player and a better person. We have a few
more days to get that finalized.”
Jones is due a $3 million roster bonus and has a $2.8 million salary for the 2010 season, all but ensuring his departure unless he’s willing to take a pay cut. For Jones, the question would likely be if he’d rather take the cut in New York or take it somewhere else because he’s probably not a good bet to land almost $6 million in total salary with any team.