Giants receiver Steve Smith and defensive end Justin Tuck are supporting a possible trade this week that would bring Browns receiver Braylon Edwards to New York, they told the New York Daily News Tuesday.
The Giants need a No. 1 receiver after the April 3 release of Plaxico Burress, embroiled in off-the-field problems. Browns GM George Kokinis acknowledged he spoke with Giants GM Jerry Reese in broad terms about a possible deal at the NFL combine in late February. Rumors resurfaced after Burress was let go.
''I think he definitely can lock down one side of the field when he’s playing his best football,'' Tuck said of Edwards, speaking to the Daily News at Giants Stadium. ''He has the same kind of effect that Plaxico had. He’s a tall receiver that can get downfield in a hurry and stretch the defense, which has the ability to open up our running game. We all know how good our running game can be when you can’t put that other safety in the box. So I think he has the ability to do those things.''
Last season in the Browns' 35-14 upset of the defending Super Bowl champions on Monday Night Football, Edwards caught five passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. That was Edwards' season-high in yards and one of only three 100-yard games. In his fourth season, Edwards led the league in dropped passes with 16.
''Obviously he’s a Pro Bowl wide receiver for a reason,'' Tuck told the Daily News. ''He had a down year last year for whatever reason. But obviously a wide receiver of that nature would help this football team.''
But Tuck, who was merely answering questions and did not bring up the subject, did seem somewhat misinformed about Edwards, who has had a knack for creating controversy in Cleveland.
''I know Braylon is not the type of guy to be a look-at-me type of player,'' Tuck told the Daily News. ''From what I know about him, he comes to work every day, he keeps his mouth closed. You don’t hear a lot of things about him off the football field. I think that’s the type of guy (we need), especially in an environment like New York City where you can get caught up in all the lights. You need to focus on what your primary job is.
''Do I think he’s a good fit here? Quite possibly, yes.''
Smith was also supportive of bringing in Edwards, telling the Daily News, ''I don’t know what the coaches are thinking. But I think he’s a great player and I think if we got him he would definitely help us.''
Meanwhile, the Daily News reported that Reese told Giants receiver Domenik Hixon, the University of Akron product, that he did not try to trade him. Hixon was one of three receivers mentioned in reports that the Giants were offering the Browns in return, along with Smith and Mario Manningham, a former Warren Harding star.