The Bengals are in need of a new No. 2 receiver to play opposite A.J. Green. It was Jerome Simpson's job to lose but after a mediocre 2011 season in which he was terribly inconsistent and after some legal troubles involving 2.5 pounds of marijuana, it appears as if he's lost it. Without another talented receiver, defenses would focus all their attention on stopping Green and the Bengals passing game, and eventually the entire offense, would suffer.
The good news is that this year's draft class and free agency is going to be packed with good wide receivers that could do the job. Unfortunately, in a recent article from Rotoworld, Evan Silva picked the one receiver I would want nothing to do with for Cincinnati.
As a suspension risk, Edwards could only manage a one-year, $1 million offer from the 49ers last summer. After bombing spectacularly in San Francisco, Edwards received no interest upon being waived in late December. Jets coach Rex Ryan hinted that Edwards would be welcomed back with open arms. Bengals owner/GM Mike Brown has a history of collecting name players on the cheap once their value has reached its nadir.
So here's the good:
Edwards is cheap and would keep a lot of money available for other players, like a guard, running back or a player in the secondary. He is also big and has had success as a receiver in the past. In fact, just two seasons ago, in 2010, caught 53 passes for 904 yards and seven touchdowns. He has the bulk to go across the middle and he has the speed to get open deep, that is when he's healthy. He also knows how to run block, which is a must in the West Coast offense.
And here's the bad:
Edwards isn't a spring chicken and his career kind of went into the dumps last year in San Francisco. When the team released him in 2010 no other team went after him, which is a bad sign. If the Bengals sign him and only him and expect him to produce in 2012 and he doesn't, which is a real possibility, they'll be left in bad position in the passing game.
While Edwards would actually be an upgrade, in my honest opinion, over Simpson, the Bengals could do much, much better and they have the money to do so. To me, signing Edwards would be settling in a season that they have a real shot to head back to the playoffs and win their first postseason game since 1990. When guys like Steve Johnson, Mario Manningham, Pierre Garcon, Reggie Wayne, Robert Meachem and others are on the market, the Bengals would make a huge mistake if they went right after Edwards.
What do you think?