Cleveland, as it turns out, wasn’t big enough for both LeBron James and Braylon Edwards.
And so Braylon has now left town.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Browns have traded Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets.
The move comes only hours after the receiver whom the Jets allegedly coveted -- Michael Crabtree -- finally signed a contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Though there’s no specific evidence that the Jets were waiting to pull the trigger (perhaps not the best choice of words when talking about a New York receiver) on a trade with the Browns until Crabtree’s situation was resolved, the circumstantial evidence will cause some to wonder whether Edwards was “Plan B” and Crabtree was “Plan A.”
The fact that the Jets couldn’t have gotten their hands on Crabtree until March 1 at the earliest undercuts that theory. Still, the timing is unusual, to say the least.
The trade represents the latest transaction between Browns coach Eric Mangini and the man who fired him in January, Jets G.M. Mike Tannenbaum. The Browns previously helped the Jets get in position to draft their quarterback of the future (and present), and the Browns have now sent the Jets a guy who will be catching (or, as the case may be, dropping) passes from Mark Sanchez.
Edwards is signed through 2009, and it’s not yet known whether he’ll be getting a new deal. Absent an extension to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, he will be eligible for restricted free agency only in 2010.
Speaking of 2010, let’s hope that New York City is big enough for Braylon and LeBron, since there has been speculation for months that James will sign a free-agent deal with the New York Knicks at the end of the coming basketball season.
UPDATE: Here are the terms of the deal. There’s no new deal for Edwards, yet.