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Tag:Braylon Edwards
Posted on: July 11, 2011 12:26 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 2:26 pm
 

If convicted, Jets' Ellis could be deported

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Jets 2011 third-round pick Kenrick Ellis was set to stand trial next week on felony assault charges for an arrest that took place in April 2010 while he was still a student at Hampton University. The trial has been rescheduled for November 28, but Ellis faces bigger issues than appearing in court during the NFL season.

He's not a US citizen (Ellis was born in Jamaica and moved to the States at the age of 11), but holds "permanent resident" status. A permanent resident can be deported if convicted of an aggravated felony, which means that the outcome of this trial could not only cost Ellis millions of dollars, but keep him from ever playing football in this country.

ESPN New York's Rich Cimini wrote last week that because of the stakes, Ellis' best move would be to negotiate a plea bargain before the matter goes to trial.
The key is to make sure that any plea arrangement isn't classified as an aggravated assault and carries less than a one-year sentence, suspended or otherwise, according to Virginia-based immigration attorney Bill Kovatch.

"There's a reason (for the Jets) to be worried ... because if it's an aggravated felony, there's nothing that can be done," said Kovatch, who doesn't represent Ellis. "He gets deported and there's no waiver."
Under Rex Ryan, the Jets have taken chances on talented players with questionable pasts, and the results have been mostly positive. Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie all came to New York with baggage, and all contributed to the Jets' two consecutive runs to the AFC Championship game.

So it wasn't altogether surprising that Ryan and general managers Mike Tannenbaum drafted Ellis, a 6-5, 345-pound nose tackle out of Hampton, in April. At the time, the team said they were "comfortable" with the risk after doing their due diligence.

Before playing at Hampton, Ellis was dismissed from the University of South Carolina for failing multiple drug tests, and one NFL general manager told Cimini that his team shied away from Ellis because of the impending trial and the possibility of deportation.

"That was big for us," the GM said. "It's a pain in the tail, the whole legal issue."

The Jets need Ellis to help fill the void left by Kris Jenkins (to that end, New York also drafted Temple defensive tackle Muhammad Wilkerson in the first round), and given their past successes with players like Holmes, Edwards and Cromartie, it's not unreasonable to think that the gamble on Ellis will pay off.

Plus, as Cimini notes, there's this: "[Ellis] has been a permanent resident for more than five years. Even if he's convicted of a crime of moral turpitude (which is deportable), as long as it's a misdemeanor -- a sentence less than one year -- it won't affect his residency status, Kovatch said. But a repeat offense, he said, would make him deportable."

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 7:00 pm
Edited on: June 24, 2011 7:08 pm
 

Santonio Holmes should be priority for Jets

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Last offseason, the Jets acquired Santonio Holmes for a fifth-round pick. That the Steelers were willing to part with their former first-rounder and Super Bowl XLIII MVP for the draft equivalent of a bag of doughnuts* was no reflection of Holmes' on-the-field production and had everything to do with his inability to stay out of trouble.

The Rex Ryan and Mike Tannenbaum Jets don't share such concerns. In fact, their personnel philosophy can be loosely described as "If a guy can play he deserves a second (third, fourth, etc…) chance." And for the most part, the strategy has worked. Braylon Edwards, Antonio Cromartie and Holmes were critical to the Jets' AFC Championship runs the last two seasons, all came to New York with a U-Haul full of baggage.

All three players are also free agents, and once the 2011 offseason officially begins, the Jets will have to decide who to keep and how to do it. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, Holmes is the priority.

“I believe they will (be able to afford Holmes),” La Canfora said on Total Access. “From everything I’ve heard, he will be a priority. Look at what they’ve done in recent years with D’Brickshaw Ferguson, Nick Mangold, stepping up for Darrelle Revis. They’ve done everything possible to keep their young core. … I think Holmes stays in New York.”

Holmes was suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy and he still managed 52 receptions for 746 yards and six touchdowns. According to Football Outsiders' WR efficiency ratings, Holmes led all Jets receivers in total value and value-per-play.

The Steelers were able to jettison Holmes and remain productive offensively. Part of that was because second-year player Mike Wallace emerged as a legit No. 1 wide receiver, but also because Ben Roethlisberger ia a top-10 NFL quarterback. The Jets need Holmes because Mark Sanchez is still in the developmental stages of his career. A playmaker like Holmes certainly eases that transition, even if he's not always enamored with offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's game plan.

Edwards' future in New York seems less certain. Depending on how free agency plays out (assuming a new CBA isn't far off), Randy Moss and Plaxico Burress could also be possibilities.

* Turns out, the Steelers made the most of that fifth-round pick. During the 2010 draft, they acquired CB Bryant McFadden and a sixth-round pick from the the Cardinals for the fifth-rounder they got from the Jets for Holmes. That sixth-round pick would eventually become Antonio Brown.

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Posted on: June 24, 2011 4:29 pm
 

Braylon Edwards gets into fender-bender

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Jets WR Braylon Edwards was involved in a minor car accident early Friday morning, but he wasn’t hurt and apparently alcohol wasn’t a factor.

EdwardsYou’ll recall that Edwards was arrested in September for DWI, but this time, he appears to be in better spirits.

On his Twitter page today, Edwards wrote, “Got into fender bender last nt. Turns out Audi's & rain don't mix to well. I'm good, thx for all prayers & concern.”

According to the Detroit Free Press, Edwards lost control of his Audi about 3:40 a.m., drove onto the grass and struck a pylon.

Police said a male passenger was in the car with Edwards, but he wasn’t injured either.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: June 15, 2011 4:30 pm
Edited on: June 15, 2011 4:40 pm
 

Why wasn't Trent Williams at Redskins practice?

T. Williams might face criticism for not showing up for Washington's workouts (Getty).Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Since players across the NFL have begun participating in workouts organized and led by their peers, we haven’t heard much in the way of criticism against those who have not joined in with their teammates.

WR Chad Ochocinco doesn’t show up for Bengals practice, and nobody makes a peep. WR Braylon Edwards misses Jets workouts, and he doesn’t hear criticism.

But when Redskins LT Trent Williams failed to show for workouts this week, at least one of his teammates had something to say about it.

“We’re here so we think it’s valuable,” G Kory Lichtensteiger told the Washington Examiner. “I don’t know why everyone else doesn’t. I know some people have to book a plane flight, but we have rookies here that are booking plane flights and first-year guys that don’t have a lot of money in the bank booking plane flights. So I don’t think there’s a whole lot of good excuses not to be here, honestly.”

Williams has an excuse regardless.

In an interview with ESPN 980, Williams claimed he thought the camp was for backs and wide receivers. Oh, he’s got another excuse as well. He didn’t find out about the camp until it was too late.

“I feel like it’s a big deal,” Williams said. “If I wouldn’t have found out Monday that the workouts were Tuesday, then I probably would have been there. It was a last-minute deal.”

So yeah, those excuses seem rather flimsy, especially when you take into account the questions about his work ethic. But Williams wasn’t done making them.

From the Washington Post:

Reached by phone Wednesday, Williams said that he has been training with roughly a dozen players in his hometown of Houston. He said he considered attending this week’s workouts, but decided not to go because he was in a wedding last weekend, which would have interfered with travel plans.

“I kind of had my hands tied,” Williams said. “But I figure as long as I’m getting work in and am making sure I’m ready. I’ve been trimming down a little bit, focusing on total body strength, and I started back [doing squats] this offseason, which I hadn’t done since my sophomore year, to get my explosiveness in my legs back. I feel great.”

But if you ask TE Chris Cooley, none of that really matters. Williams can show up or not, and it’s not a big deal.

“Everyone has their own preparation and own thing going on,” Cooley told the Examiner. “We’re not going to be disappointed in anyone not showing up. All I would say is that I’m benefiting from this; I feel this is making me a better player and this is preparing me to play this year.”

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Posted on: June 13, 2011 8:00 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2011 8:46 pm
 

Plaxico Burress thinks Jets are 'appealing'

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Free man Plaxico Burress said at a press conference Monday that he no longer owns guns, which means that if he's ever again shot in the thigh at a Manhattan nightclub, it won't be at his own doing.

Burress' media tour also included a sit-down with ESPN's Stephen A. Smith, where the former Giants wide receiver called the Jets an "appealing" option, although he wanted to make it clear that he's open to playing anywhere. (The feeling, it seems, isn't universally mutual.)

"Ever since I came to New York, the fans have embraced me," Burress told Smith. "It is a great city and a great town. It will always be a special place to me regardless of what happens. I can't say the Jets or Philly or anywhere of that nature, but I am going to make a decision that is best for me and my family. It may not be the best team but put yourself as a piece to the puzzle and say what's the best chance I have to win a championship."

In late May, a week before Burress was released from prison, we wrote about the likelihood that the Jets would pursue him in free agency.

The Jets have proven time and again that they are unafraid to hitch their wagon to players with baggage (apparently, there's plenty of room on the wagon for both). Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are the most recent examples, and they helped the Jets to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance last January. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum know what they're doing.

There is also the possibility that Edwards and Holmes could be lost via free agency should there be a season. That explains the interest in Randy Moss, although neither Moss nor Burress offer Mark Sanchez quite the dynamism that Edwards and Holmes provided a year ago.

Last Friday, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora wrote that "The Jets won't fight that hard to keep [Edwards] -- that tells you more than enough." Which leaves open the possibility -- however slim -- that Burress could end up there. And if it does happen, he thinks he can help Mark Sanchez become a better quarterback in much the way he helped Eli Manning during his stint with the Giants.

"Eli has won a championship, and the crazy thing about it is that Mark Sanchez almost gets more pub than the world champion quarterback," Burress said. "And I'm looking at it from afar. The man went out and led the organization to a Super Bowl, but for some reason I guess Mark Sanchez is supposed to be better than the guy that has already won one."

Translation: Even from prison, it's obvious that Mark Sanchez isn't much of an NFL quarterback.

That's a joke, but this isn't: Burress' observations about punishments fitting crimes are spot on.

"You got guys (in there) that are never going home," Burress said of his fellow inmates. "Rapists, murderers, pedophiles, everything that is associated with jail and crime, I was there with them. There were 22 or 23 of us guys on a unit, and I looked at myself and my situation and I was saying, am I really here for what happened to me?

"Looking at what some of those guys were in there for, I didn't think I deserved to be there, but at the same time I was looking at it like, I am going home. Some of these guys are not going home."

Other than New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who disagreed with Burress.

Whatever, that chapter of his life is behind him. Hopefully, the experience makes him a better person. And if Plax is looking for a way to give back, we have a suggestion: How about organizing a "Scared Straight" session for Kenny Britt. Because as it stands, the laws of probability aren't in Britt's favor. It's not a matter of if he'll land in jail, but for how long.

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Posted on: June 11, 2011 7:09 pm
 

Braylon Edwards, Michael Vick give back

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We've spent enough time documenting all the recent legal run-ins of NFL players, that it's only fair that we give equal time to some of the good deeds, too. Michael Vick was a high school commencement speaker in Philadelphia Friday, and not only did he talk about redemption, he surprised two students with $5,000 college scholarships.

Nice touch, for sure. But former Browns first-round pick Braylon Edwards took it further. In May 2007, when Edwards was still in Cleveland, his foundation pledged $1 million in scholarship money to students in the Cleveland Municipal School District.

The catch, via Shutdown Corner: "Students and their parents signed a pledge that the students would complete at least 15 hours of annual community service and maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Those students were also given help from tutors and workshops through the process via Edwards' ADVANCE 100 program."

Edwards has been known for many things during his NFL career, most of them having to do with hands of stone, running afoul of the law, and his love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with Browns fans. But give him credit: he kept his word. And now, 100 students each received a $10,000 scholarship, courtesy of Edwards.

In fact, Braylon sounded downright inspirational when he tweeted the news last month.

"As the 2nd most hated man in Clev. & a man of my word, Today I will honor a promise made to 100 students in Cleveland 6 years ago … The last of my Advance 100 students will graduate from my program & head off to college on scholarships that I will provide them with. … Guys enjoy & embrace your new beginnings and remember your promise to me, to reach back & help someone else along the way!!!"

Points for pandering to his audience. As Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar notes, "In 2009, Edwards got into it with a friend of James outside a Cleveland nightclub and punched the man, leading to comments from LeBron that Edwards' actions were motivated by jealousy." Perhaps there is still some ill-will towards Edwards for how things ended in Cleveland, but compared to LeBron, he might as well be Drew Carey. Well played, sir.

Once the lockout ends, Edwards says he'd like to stay with the Jets. One problem: New York will have to decide how to allocate their salary-cap dollars; in addition to Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith are also free agents -- not to mention the never-ending rumors about Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress.

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Posted on: May 31, 2011 3:28 pm
 

Randy Moss to the Jets could be a reality

Posted by Ryan Wilson

For most NFL teams, the ubiquitous "character concerns" are enough to steer clear of a player, whether a draft prospect or a potential free agent. For the Jets, it's a term of endearment to be embraced. At least that's the perception.

Since Rex Ryan was named the Jets head coach prior to the 2009 season, the organization has welcomed with open arms Antonio Cromartie, Braylon Edwards and Santonio Holmes. All former first-round picks, all immensely talented, and all with off-field issues. But not only was Ryan able keep disparate personalities in check, he managed to motivate his team all the way to the AFC Championship Game twice in two years. It's not a personnel philosophy many teams would endorse, but then again, there isn't another coach like Ryan.

Which is why it's not surprising that the Jets may have legitimate interest in wide receiver Randy Moss. On Monday, in a post about potential landing spots for Plaxico Burress, we speculated that the Jets could be in the running for Moss. Stop me if you've heard this before.

NFL Network's Albert Breer writes that between the league rumor mill and divining the words of Jets owner Woody Johnson, "it's not hard to see some reality" in a Moss-to-New York scenario.

"There's no question that Randy Moss has the capability, has the God-given talent to be a superstar, and he has been a superstar, particularly with the Patriots," Johnson told Breer last week. "That's about all I can say about him, other than I admire his skill and what he's accomplished during those years."

Breer reports that the Jets have worked on "scenario development," which is a fancier, pithier way of saying "How we will deal with free agency should the lockout end tomorrow -- because it's going to be Thunderdome-type chaos around the league." It's good to have contingency plans, especially when the Jets have an abundance of would-be free agents, including Cromartie, Edwards, Holmes, and Brad Smith.

But Moss is 34 and his 2010 production suggests that his best days are firmly rooted in the past. And unless he can get his hands on a time machine, his biggest contribution to an offense will be the weekly complaints about not getting the ball. Of course, there were similar claims in 2006 that Moss was done. He had just finished his second season in Oakland and managed 42 receptions for 553 yards and three touchdowns.

The Patriots took Moss off Al Davis' hands in April 2007 for a fourth-round pick and then everyone watched in awe as Moss hauled in 98 catches for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns, and New England went undefeated in the 2007 regular season.

The seven-figure question laded with incentives then becomes: is the 2007 Moss still inhabiting the body of a man who looked disinterested and slow in 2010? It's doubtful. Moss is on the wrong side of 30, and his most explosive weapon -- his speed -- is waning. Plus, Mark Sanchez continues to improve as an NFL quarterback, but he's not Tom Brady. On more than one occasion, Moss has shown that his effort level is directly proportional to the number of passes accurately thrown his way. That could be a problem for Sanchez, whose career completion percentage is 54.4. 

Then again, Ryan has a way of getting the best from his players. Maybe he's exactly what Moss needs.

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Posted on: May 30, 2011 2:02 pm
Edited on: May 30, 2011 10:58 pm
 

Several NFL teams might have interest in Burress

Posted by Ryan Wilson

Plaxico Burress will be released from prison on June 6 after serving more than 20 months for, well, accidentally shooting himself in the leg at a Manhattan nightclub in November 2008. The punishment may not have fit the crime, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg wanted to make an example out of Burress, presumably to serve as a warning to others who might consider carrying a loaded weapon in public (or shooting themselves with it, for that matter).

At the time, Bloomberg was clear: "I don't think that anybody should be exempt from [three-and-a-half years behind bars for illegally carrying a loaded handgun]. And I think it would be an outrage if we don't prosecute to the fullest extent of the law."

Now, almost two years later, Burress will finally get his release. For most inmates about to earn their freedom, the biggest concerns about life on the outside often include finding gainful employment and staying out of trouble. The latter is linked to the former, so landing a job is paramount. Which brings us to this: What will the NFL market be for Burress' services once the lockout is resolved?

First, some background: Burress last caught a pass in an NFL game on November 16, 2008. Still with the Giants, and less than a year removed from a Super Bowl title, Burress had just three receptions for 47 yards against the Ravens before a hamstring injury forced him to the sidelines, and a few days later, a self-inflicted gunshot wound changed his life. The next time Burress suits up in an NFL game he will be 34, the age most players begin their transition to life after football.

So the dilemma facing potential suitors goes something like this:
  • After more than 20 months behind bars, does Burress have anything left?
  • How would he fit in with new coaches/teammates/scheme? 
  • Will he stay out of trouble? 
All questions NFL front offices will undoubtedly consider, and a few of them will be ready to sign Burress once we have a 2011 season. In today's "Monday Morning Quarterback" column, Sports Illustrated's Peter King lists his early front runners.

"I think [Burress will] have two or three teams very interested. My guess is the Jets, Eagles and Raiders will be involved (the Jets if they don't sign Randy Moss), and I'll tell you a team that should be interested: Cleveland. A reborn Burress would do a good job giving Colt McCoy a threat he doesn't have right now -- if Burress is in shape and as interested in resuming his career as I've heard."

The Jets have proven time and again that they are unafraid to hitch their wagon to players with baggage (apparently, there's plenty of room on the wagon for both). Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Braylon Edwards are the most recent examples, and they helped the Jets to their second consecutive AFC Championship Game appearance last January. Coach Rex Ryan and general manager Mike Tannenbaum know what they're doing.

There is also the possibility that Edwards and Holmes could be lost via free agency should there be a season. That explains the interest in Randy Moss, although neither Moss nor Burress offer Mark Sanchez quite the dynamism that Edwards and Holmes provided a year ago.

Eagles quarterback Michael Vick, intimately familiar with incarceration and second chances, appeared on Philadelphia's WIP last week and said that he'd love to have Burress on his team.

"Absolutely -- it would be a great addition for our team," said Vick, according to SportsRadioInterview.com. "With the guys we have now, I think we can fit him in and make it work. Obviously, the ultimate goal is to put that ring on your finger at the end of the year.

"I think certainly Plaxico is going to come out with a chip on his shoulder the same way I did, and he'll go out and help this football team to whatever capacity he can. I think the guys would be willing to embrace him and bring him in. If that happens, who knows? We talking about 'what ifs' now? It would certainly be a good thing."

Assuming Burress could recapture his past form, it would give the Eagles a third legitimate wideout after DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin (not to mention tight end Brent Celek). There's also a running game featuring LeSean McCoy and Vick, an offensive line bolstered by first-round pick Danny Watkins, and an already-explosive offense suddenly seems more dangerous. And let's be honest, if anybody can relate to what Burress has been through, it's Vick.

King also mentions the Browns, a team mired in futility, and on its fourth coach since 2004. The organization hired Mike Holmgren as team president in 2010 to turn things around. He drafted quarterback Colt McCoy, who played better than anyone expected as a rookie, and added wide receiver Greg Little in April. Still, Cleveland is in need of a big-play, pass-catching threat; Josh Cribbs isn't quite there and Burress could be an attractive short-term solution while McCoy and his young offensive teammates gain experience.

Whether Burress has any interest in going to the Browns is a different matter entirely, although Ron Cook, a columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, thinks the Steelers should give Burress a look. Pittsburgh drafted Burress in the first round of the 2000 draft, and he was then-rookie quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's favorite target in 2004. The Steelers chose not to re-sign him after his contract expired following the season, and Burress ended up with the Giants, where he won a Super Bowl in 2008.

This is just a hunch, but the Steelers will have no interest in Burress; they currently have a depth chart full of quality young receivers to go along with veteran Hines Ward. If they take a chance on any 6-4 wideout, it will be Limas Sweed, their 2008 second-round pick who has battled injuries and drops in an unexceptional three-year career.

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