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Recent posts by Eric Edholm
Former NFL running back Stan Edwards knows how the NFL runs. He understands the business of the day-to-day operations.
But as Braylon Edwards' father, he also wishes things would go as well as they can for his son. Edwards has been the subject of some trade rumors, most recently to the Giants, and there has been eerie silence from the new Cleveland regime, which already summarily traded Kellen Winslow and could do the same with Edwards and Shaun Rogers.
"I can imagine from Braylon, it can be a little bit awkward to go in to your workplace and know that they are getting ready to clean your desk out," Stan Edwards told me this morning by phone. "All you can do is go in there and continue to work. His attitude is that he's a Cleveland Brown and he's going to have a year that will rival his 2007 season."
The Browns not only have been deadly silent with the media and fans. The Browns' players apparently haven't heard much from head coach Eric Mangini and the other bigwigs, either. Stan Edwards said Braylon hasn't heard anything directly from Mangini about what his role on the team might be or what the offense is going to look like. Clearly, there's a lot to figure out on offense in Cleveland, including who will play quarterback and whether Donte Stallworth will be in jail or in Berea, Ohio (some say they are similar), and whether the team might go running back with its first or second draft pick.
But Edwards' status on the team remains one of the more intriguing situations to follow in the upcoming weeks. He might be traded. He might stay. Those who have the best inkling of the answer aren't talking, but plenty of other people sure are.
"Looking at this business, 25 years ago when a rumor came out, nobody gave it any credibility until something happened," said the elder Edwards, who played in the league from 1982 to '87 with the Houston Oilers and Lions. "Well, the business has changed. Where there's smoke, there's fire. A lot of times that smoke doesn't turn into fire, but in this day and age when there is information being exchanged every minute, it makes you stop and say, 'What is going on?' "
One thing is clear to everyone: If the Browns trade Braylon, they suddenly become very desperate for some WR help -- with or without Stallworth. Or as Stan says, "If they are going to replace Braylon, I don't think they are going to do it with anyone who is currently on the roster."
Stan said Braylon doesn't have a preference in the QB derby between Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn but that he had a little more rhythm with Anderson "because they played longer together, they worked together more in practice. But he also has a ton of confidence in Brady Quinn. I know that."
The one thing I noticed right away when I spent time with both Edwards men leading up to the 2005 draft on Braylon's Pro Day was that they both felt Braylon had a star quality and that he needed to go to a place where that could be cultivated properly. That not only included a good football environment but a place where a player could become a star. Play well in Cleveland and one can achieve that status, just as Peyton Manning has become an international symbol playing in central Indiana and as Brett Favre did when he was in northern Wisconsin.
Stan said Braylon's preference would be to stay in Cleveland, even if going to a place like New York might "enhance his star a bit." And for now, his son will continue to go to work assuming he'll stay in Cleveland and get a chance to atone for what was a very tough season for both him and the Browns in '08.
"I'll say this: Before the foot injury [suffered last August when Stallworth stepped on Edwards], Braylon was playing at an even higher level in training camp than he did in 2007," Stan said. "And everything in his mind now is that he can get back to playing at that same level this coming season."