by: Jim Hildebrand
It seems Eric Mangini helps the Jets more as someone else’s head coach.
First, it was the Mark Sanchez trade, revitalizing the organization and fan base by sending the Jets a legitimate quarterback prospect. Heading into the season, the only hole big on the team appeared to be at wide receiver. However the Gang Green has played a quarter of the season looking every bit the part of a playoff team by starting 3-1 and still, the only hole seems to be at wide receiver.
Enter Braylon Edwards.
The Jets traded for the disgruntled wideout by parting ways with WR Chansi Stuckey, LB/special teams ace Jason Trusnik, two draft picks, and a thank you card.
Basically, New York weakened itself, slightly, in one area: special teams coverage. Trusnik was the special teams player of the week for his play against the Tennessee Titans and will be missed. However, special teams players are replaceable. Edwards presents a major upgrade over Stuckey. Although I like Stuck a lot, he was a third down, possession receiver playing the part of a bonafide number two. We replace Stuckey with a guy who caught 80 passes, including 16 touchdowns, for 1,289 yards just two years ago. Edwards' big play ability should open up the running game, as more teams will have to respect the deep threat. Throw Edwards into a group that includes Jerricho Cotchery, up-and-coming tight end Dustin Keller, and pro bowl running backs Leon Washington and Thomas Jones and you have the possibilities of a dynamic offense.
The big downside to this trade is giving up two more draft picks. General Manager Mike Tannenbaum has made it a habit in giving up draft picks the past few years. Over the last two and a half years, they have given up picks to nab Sanchez, Lito Sheppard, David Harris, Darrelle Revis, Kris Jenkins and Dustin Keller, in addition to Edwards. While all those names play key roles for this 2009 Jets team, the lack of draft picks in recent years could leave the team severely thin for quality backups in the future.
All in all, this team is better today than it was yesterday. What looked to be a playoff team through four games just got better. This trade makes former number one wide receiver Cotchery better, it makes the running game more formidable and, most importantly, it makes life easier for rookie Mark Sanchez.
Only one question remains: Does Hallmark make cards that say, “Thank you Man-Genius”?