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Wide Receiver Carousel: Birds Interested In Braylon

Mar 24, 2009, 3:08 PM EDT

The Giants recently offered their second and fifth round picks to the Browns for Edwards, the first serious offer the team is known to consider for the former third overall pick.  The deal fell apart when Cleveland also wanted WR Steve Smith, but New York was only willing to exchange Domenik Hixon or Mario Manningham.

Tucked away in the story about the failed move is the Eagles were rumored to have inquired about the wide receiver as well.  Out of all the names that have come up this offseason- Marvin Harrison, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Torry Holt, and Anquan Boldin- this is the first one that actually makes sense.  Braylon Edwards has the build and ability of an elite receiver, but comes at the bargain basement price of a second and a pair of Reggie Browns.

Whether or not the Eagles would actually pull the trigger on such a deal remains to be seen, but allow me to kick off what is sure begin a vigorous debate.

Why Braylon Edwards is better than Anquan Boldin

I'm sure you'll get in line to call me an idiot on this one, but if I'm choosing between Edwards and Boldin, I don't think twice.  Edwards is bigger, faster, younger, has a greater presence on the field, and will not come with as high of a cost in a trade.

Forget the consistency argument.  Number one, in four seasons Edwards hasn't once played with a quarterback you could call legitimate.  Second, Terrell Owens had some consistency problems of his own.  He dropped passes and came with a personality disorder.  That didn't stop McNabb from having the best year of his career though.

The fact is, Boldin may be the proven commodity here, but he's not a true number one receiver, and he most certainly isn't worth a first and a third.  He catches his average pass a mere five yards beyond the line of scrimmage, then relies on breaking tackles to pick up extra yards.  Sure, he's the best at it, but that is not the kind of dynamic player you give up your draft for.

What I think fans have fallen in love with are numbers.  Boldin was the fastest guy to reach some plateau in yards and receptions that I don't really care about because he did it catching screen passes and crossing patterns.  I don't mean to diminish the achievement, it just doesn't compare to having a wide receiver that commands a double team.

And if you think it does, you're wrong.  When a player dictates double coverage, the defense must pull a man away from another responsibility.  If the safety has to play over the top of wherever one receiver is running, it opens up everything else, and not just in the passing game, but the running game as well.  Just ask the Giants what Plaxico Burress means for Brandon Jacobs.

Which is exactly why they made the serious offer to the Browns in the first place.  Has Braylon Edwards put up a bunch of 1,000 yard seasons?  No, but anyone can see that he has the talent to blow every season Boldin's ever had out of the water.  Boldin makes a quarterback better; Edwards can make an entire offense better.  When you're talking about winning the most games, you want the latter.

On the right team, one with a solid hand under center, Edwards would not only become a model of consistency, he would be so at a Pro Bowl level.  And if that team is the either the Eagles or the Giants, they might just become the odds-on favorite to reach the Super Bowl.