While 49ers receiver Braylon Edwards was looking for a job after his contract with the Jets expired, two members of his entourage found themselves accused of knifing and/or forking two employees at a restaurant in Michigan.
Though initial reports cleared Edwards of any involvement, the restaurant issued a statement implicating the former Wolverine: “Braylon Edwards was present and involved, but it’s an ongoing police investigation so at this time we don’t have any further information.”
Edwards never was charged, but now Edwards is taking action. According to the Associated Press, Edwards has sued the restaurant and three of its employees for slander, claiming that the false allegations prompted an unnamed team that had offered him a contract with $15 million guaranteed to acquire a case of cold feet in response to the contention that Edwards had a role in the incident.
Ordinarily, defamation cases are difficult for folks with a history of bad behavior, since the measure of damages comes from comparing the reputation before the false statements to the reputation after the false statements. That’s probably why, for example, Pacman Jones never made good on a threat to sue ESPN for claiming that he instigated another shooting in a Vegas strip club.
In this case, Edwards may be onto something. If he can prove that there was a team who had offered that money, that the team pulled the offer after the restaurant claimed that Edwards “was present and involved” in the incident, and that the allegation was false, Edwards could prevail.
The challenge, of course, will be to squeeze the $14 million out of the restaurant and its employees. Maybe, in the end, he’ll simply own the restaurant.
And maybe Pacman Jones can instigate a shooting there.