Kicking the Tires on Braylon Edwards? What? Why? Really?

When the news broke yesterday that the Dolphins recently (about a week ago) worked out free agent WR Braylon Edwards it was a bit of a shocker. I mean lets be honest the main reason Brandon Marshall was sent away was because he was a locker-room cancer and a nutcase. I mean his huge contract and tons of dropped balls didn't help, but his personality and un-likability among the locker-room was probably reason #1 for his jettison.

But why Braylon Edwards? Joe Philbin gave the politically correct answer of it's the personal guys just doing their due diligence and leaving no stone un-turned. And while maybe that is true, I think the answer is obvious. The Dolphins right now have issues at WR. Omar Kelly is reporting that the 3 rookies (Cunningham, Fuller, Matthews) have not done well at all in mini-camps and now training camps. Omar is reporting they are getting few reps in practices and when they do they drop easy catchable passes. One or two of these guys are probably locked into the practice squad and not the main roster while the other will be cut.

So that leaves this group of WR's at Chad Johnson, Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Clyde Gates, Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore, Julius Pruitt, and Legeduu Naanee. But if you think Miami will sign Edwards and hand him a spot opposite Chad Johnson think again. Miami can't afford to carry 2 or 3  old WR's. So "IF" Miami  signs Edwards, expect him to be competing with Johnson and Naanee for 1 roster spot. Maybe they carry 2 "of the older guys," but it's unlikely. Reason being is because the WR "depth" and "non-starters" must contribute on Special Teams. And Edwards, Johnson, Naanee can't do that at this stage in their careers.

The other person though who should be nervous if the Fins pull the trigger on Braylon Edwards is Clyde Gates. From all reports Gates has trouble running routes and executing on the field. Yes, he has blazing speed and is great on special teams. But at the WR position, where he was selected in Round 3, he struggles a lot. And he struggled in Tony Sparano/Brian Daboll's "simple" offense. In the West Coast offense Philbin runs I would expect more struggles. And from early reports of Mini-Camp's and thus far in Training camp that is what has happened. The only thing going for Gates right now is that he was a 3rd round pick and teams rarely give up on 3rd round picks after just 1 season.

Do I expect Miami to sign Braylon Edwards? NO. I mean Seattle worked out Edwards and Antonio Bryant and decided to sign Antonio Bryant, that's all you need to know. With that said, I would not be against the signing of Edwards though. IF he is healthy the guy can flat out play. Big target and would be an instant upgrade to this WR corp. He isn't the Braylon Edwards of 2007 or 2008, but he is still good.  In fact I wouldn't mind if they signed Edwards and cut Chad Johnson loose in all honesty.I think Edwards has more left in the tank (once again IF he is healthy.) This also might be a case where Miami signs Edwards AFTER Week 1 because then his contract isn't guaranteed for the season. For a guy coming off a knee injury that makes a lot of sense.

It will be interesting to see how this battle at wide receiver plays out and how many the Fins actually end up keeping come Week 1.

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