FLORHAM PARK, NJ – As it was already reported by the Jets Insider early this morning, Jets WR Braylon Edwards was pulled over at roughly 5:15 a.m. EST leaving in lower Manhattan for illegal tints on his window. He was charged with driving while intoxicated as he blew a .16 blood-alchol level on a breathalyzer, double the legal limit. The police officer then tacked on an extra . 15 after Edwards excessively celebrated for being under .20.
The officer would go on to say that he could smell alcohol on Edwards breath, but there are reports that Edwards actually had drinks hidden in his beard as well.
All jokes aside, the punishment has yet to be passed down, however it will come from the Jets rather than Roger Goodell and the NFL. It could only be a fine, or it could be a fine and a one-game suspension. The suspension would come at a bad time if they were to decide to suspend him for the Week 3 match-up against AFC East foe, the Miami Dolphins. The loss of Edwards, coupled with the four-game suspension to WR Santonio Holmes, would spell significant trouble against an aggressive Dolphins defense and would force no. 3 wideout Jerricho Cotchery and Brad Smith to step up in their absences. However, don’t surprised if the suspense happens during the Week 4 game against the Buffalo Bills, who is seen as a weaker opponent.
While athletes get slapped with DWIs and other minor offenses with regularity, this particular incident is painting a larger, rather darker picture for how people view the 2010 New York Jets.
The news of Edwards’ DWI comes just days after the NFL released the details to the investigation against the Jets regarding the sexual harassment of female reporter Ines Sainz. Players and coaches allegedly took part in the cat-calling and whistling, as the Mexican TV reporter stood on the sidelines. Coaches also allegedly drew up dummy plays so that players could run by and admire her up close.
There is nothing wrong with have a little school yard fun, after all football is a game. However this Jets team is quickly turning from a lovable cast of quotable characters to arrogant, pig-head jocks. They have opened up their locker room to three players who were labeled as distractions on their old teams (Edwards, Holmes and Antonio Cromartie). And while only one has drawn negative headlines, the moves will leave fans scratching their heads if the off-the-field dramatics outweigh the on-the-field output. In the case of Edwards, that couldn’t be more of the truth.
Upon being traded to New York halfway in October, Edwards was accused of punching LeBron James’ friend at a Cleveland nightclub. Edwards settled on a no contest plea to aggravated assault, $1,000 fine, put on probation and a suspended 180-day prison sentence. His recent trouble could face complications as Edwards is still on probation from the Cleveland incident.
Aside opening up their locker room to the questionable character guys, the Jets also opened up the locker rooms to the whole world, allowing families across America see and hear the “I hope you don’t kiss your mother with that mouth” banter by the guy who sets the tone for the team, head coach Rex Ryan. While some appreciate his unadulterated style (mostly the media), others see his crass tone as setting the bar low for his players and forgetting about how they are role models as much as they are warriors.
If the Jets organization had any backbone, they would suspend Edwards for this week’s game against the Dolphins to send a message that they are committed to not ending up like the Cincinnati Bengals circa 2007-08. Benching him for a big AFC East showdown would show the world that athletes, All-Pro or practice squad, need to be held accountable for their actions. If they end up fining him or suspending him for what is seen as a “weaker” game, it will show they are only concerned with winning.
Sometimes, even in sports, winning isn’t everything.