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Edwards eager for 'fresh start' after Browns trade him to Jets

Braylon Edwards' arrival was picture-perfect for the New York Jets.

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Braylon Edwards' arrival was picture-perfect for the New York Jets.

The talented but troubled wide receiver was acquired from the Cleveland Browns on Wednesday and showed up at the Jets' facility shortly after practice ended -- just in time to try on his new green and white threads and be included in the team picture.

"It was interesting getting off a plane and rushing right to a team photo," Edwards said, smiling. "The guys in the locker room were good."

Edwards said he felt welcomed right away because he was a target of some good-natured jokes as soon as he walked into the Jets' locker room.

"A couple of guys cracked on the pants I had on," said Edwards, who already knows several Jets players. "I took that as a good sign."

The Jets dealt wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik and two 2010 draft picks (a third-rounder, which could move up to a second-rounder, and a fifth-rounder) to the Browns in return for Edwards, who has 10 receptions for 139 yards but was shut out for the first time in his five-year NFL career in the winless Browns' 23-20 overtime loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

"I believe coming here to a team that's doing well with a new head coach that has them going in the right direction ... is a fresh start and a clean slate," Edwards said.

Edwards was on his way to the Browns' facility at 7:45 a.m. when he received a call from coach Eric Mangini, who told him to come to his office, where he was informed of the deal.

"I hadn't any clue I was going to be traded," Edwards said.

Edwards is expected to practice with the Jets on Thursday, and coach Rex Ryan said the wide receiver will start in Monday night's game against the Miami Dolphins.

"I think he's going to fit right in with our group," Ryan said.

The Jets were lacking a legitimate deep threat for rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez to throw to opposite Jerricho Cotchery, and the team believes Edwards also will help jumpstart the running game.

"I've had to defend against him twice a year in Baltimore, and that's not fun," Ryan said. "He is a matchup nightmare."

Edwards comes to the Jets with his share of off-field issues. The NFL is investigating whether Edwards violated the league's personal-conduct policy following accusations that he assaulted a man outside a nightclub early Monday.

Edwards allegedly punched promoter Edward Givens, a friend of NBA star LeBron James, following an argument in downtown Cleveland. Police also are looking into the incident.

Edwards declined to discuss the situation Wednesday, saying it's a legal matter.

Although Edwards hasn't been charged with a crime, the league's personal-conduct policy states that discipline may be imposed for "the use or threat of violence."

"We're comfortable with adding Braylon," Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said. "We'll cooperate with all the authorities, and we're glad he's here. We did our due diligence."

The Jets, off to a 3-1 start under Ryan, were looking to replace Laveranues Coles in the starting lineup since allowing him to become a free agent during the offseason. They looked into former Giants star Plaxico Burress' legal status before the draft and were mentioned in possible trade talks for Denver Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall.

Edwards' best season came in 2007, when he had 80 catches for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns.

"I know he's going to add something great to this offense," Cotchery said. "We've got to smile about that because he's a great player and he's going to demand a lot of attention."

Edwards also has taken some criticism over the years for his propensity for dropping passes and lapses in concentration.

"Is he going to catch every pass that's thrown to him? No," Ryan said. "But he's going to catch enough of them, and he's going to make a lot of difference."

Edwards has one year remaining on his contract, but the Jets had no immediate plans to sign him to a new deal during this season.

"I don't want to be a distraction," he said. "All I want to do is play football. They have a machine moving in the right direction, so to sit here and talk about a contract would be pretty petty."

Edwards has been involved in other off-field incidents, but Ryan said he consulted with people he really trusts; his twin brother, Rob, is the Browns' defensive coordinator.

"We're confident with the player on the field and off the field," he said.

It's the second major trade the Jets have made with the Browns and Mangini. On the first day of the draft in April, the Jets acquired the fifth overall pick from Cleveland -- using it to select Sanchez -- in exchange for New York's second-rounder (No. 52), defensive end Kenyon Coleman, safety Abram Elam and quarterback Brett Ratliff.

Stuckey, who won the Jets' No. 2 receiver spot out of training camp, has 11 catches for 120 yards and one touchdown this season. Trusnik, signed by the Jets as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio Northern in 2007, is a special-teams ace.

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