So reports came out today that the Seahawks are working out free agent wide receiver Braylon Edwards. The general line of thinking from other sportswriters is the Seahawks are in need of an “experienced #2 receiver,” and Braylon Edwards could fit that bill. Before I try to offer my humble take, to the stats (courtesy of ESPN.com):
Year Team GP Rec Yds Avg Lng TDs FDs
The last two are fumbles and lost fumbles, both of which aren’t a problem in his game and not relevant to this discussion. Edwards hasn’t garnered much attention this offseason due to injury concerns and his extremely paltry yard total from last season in San Fransisco. The two things that he really has going for him are his height (6′ 3″), and his yards per catch. He’s always had an extremely high number in reference to that, keeping it above 11 even in a lost season such as his last one. One concern you can rightfully have is that we already have a reclamation project in Antonio Bryant trying out for the ‘Hawks. For his comparison, here are his stats (ESPN.com is a great place for these):
As you can see, both have up and down years and high yard per catch averages. The problem with Bryant is, of course, that he hasn’t played in the league in 2 years. The Seahawks have been interested in him enough to try him out, but not interested enough to offer a contract; the same can be said right now about Edwards. They are receivers of similar pedigree as big guys with usually decent performance, so why bring both in?
Well, for one the Seahawks secret weakness could be wide receiver. We’re putting our hope in a number 1 with notorious health issues (Sidney Rice, if that’s not clear), and after that what do we really have? Doug Baldwin performed well last season, but can he play every down, or should he aspire to be Wes Welker, slot receiver extraordinaire? After Baldwin, the question marks get bigger and bigger; Ben Obamanu has increased his productivity, but you never seem to hear anything about him in the offseason and he never seems to generate much excitement surrounding his involvement (when was the last time you heard, “Oh yeah, Ben Obamanu is playing so we’ll be fine”?). Golden Tate is a guy everyone says “took a big step forward” last year, which apparently means catching the ball a little more, entering the endzone, and upping his reception yards a little over 100 all the way to 382. I guess he wasn’t inactive for the first 5 games trying to learn the playbook, which helps. Deon Butler and Kris Durham only played in a few games each, and Ricardo Lockette has a grand total of 2 receptions in his NFL career. Sidney Rice is the most veteran of these receivers, followed by Ben Obamanu. What this shows to me, in Carroll bringing in both of these similar guys to compete for a similar role, is just that; he’s competing.
Edwards and Bryant are no-risk flyers that can hopefully give the Seahawks a veteran #2 receiver with some size. Both have shown success in the past, and both are getting worked out by the team, and the team loses nothing if neither make it. These type of tryout stories are simply pre-camp fodder for an anxious fan base waiting for the season to start. It’s totally understandable (and it gives me an excuse to pump out 600+ words on the site), but its really not anything to make that big of a fuss about. If Edwards can come into Seattle and replicate what he did for the Jets in ’09, fantastic. If Bryant can make himself the Mike Williams of the 2012 season, that’s awesome. If not, then there’s no harm in trying them out with so little about our WR corps set in stone.