There are several possible responses fans could be given if asked a poll question concerning the trade Wednesday that sent Browns receiver Braylon Edwards to the New York Jets:
A. Good riddance.
B.?It's about time.
C. What took them so long?
D. All of the above.
There won't be many callers to talk-radio shows lambasting the Browns for making the move. In dealing away the talented but mistake-prone and disgruntled receiver, the Browns acquired receiver Chansi Stuckey, specials teams player Jason Trusnik and two 2010 draft choices reported to be third- and fifth-round picks.
Browns coach Eric Mangini painted a picture of a congenial parting of ways. He wished Edwards luck while saying that the deal will help both sides in the long run.
In reality, this was a trade that had to be made sooner rather than later. Edwards was continually a drag on the offense with dropped passes, poor route running and an attitude that indicated he'd rather be any place but Cleveland.
The situation boiled over early Monday morning when it was alleged that Edwards struck a man outside a Cleveland night club with a closed fist. The alleged victim, Edward Givens, went to a hospital to seek treatment for a headache and a black eye.
"Personal conduct is important," Mangini said when asked if the altercation led to the trade. "Opportunities come up at different times, and looking at this opportunity and exploring it versus other ones we had, we thought it was good for us and good for Braylon."
Mangini waited until reviewing all the facts concerning the incident before making the move. He talked with Edwards after the trade was finalized and wished him well.
"I had a good conversation with him this (Wednesday) morning and I told him I think it's a fresh start for him and told him I really hope he continues to reach his potential and takes advantage of the opportunity he has," Mangini said. "If he at any point wants to reach out to me, I'd be here. He understood. He was great about it, and like I said, I really do wish him the best."
There were multiple reports during the summer Edwards was being shopped, and the New York Giants were one of the interested teams. The Browns were reportedly trying to get a first-round draft choice in return, a proposal the Giants weren't willing to accept.
Edwards' trade value dropped last season when he caught 55 passes for 873 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers followed a 2007 season during which he had 80 receptions for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns.
Edwards did nothing to add to his value in the first four games of this season. He has10 catches for 139 yards and no touchdowns and was held without a reception for the first time in his NFL career last Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.
For the Browns, it was a case of getting as much value as possible before he probably would have become a free agent at the end of this season when his five-year contract expires.
"Opportunities come up at all different points, and you look at the opportunities," Mangini said. "Contrary to popular belief, we do trade with teams other than the Jets and we talk to teams other than the Jets.
"You look at the value of what the offer is and compare that to what other offers are at the current time, and you move forward based on that."
Stuckey, who was the Jets' number two receiver, has 11 receptions for 120 yards and a touchdown. He missed his rookie season of 2007 with a foot injury and had 32 receptions, including three for touchdowns, last season.
Trusnik, who graduated from Nordonia High school, made the Jets' roster as an undrafted free agent out of Ohio Northern University in 2007. The backup linebacker was the AFC special teams player of the week in week three after recovering a fumble on a kick off against the Tennessee Titans.
"It was an opportunity for us to add some more depth not just in the short term but in the long term," Mangini said. "This is a process. We're looking to win in the short term and building an organization that's built to win over the long term."
Stuckey will likely start opposite rookie Mohamed Massaquoi, who had 10 receptions for 148 yards against the Bengals. Rookie Brian Robiskie, who wasn't active in two of the four games and has yet to catch a pass, was singled out by Mangini as a player who could see more time in Edwards' absence.