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It was all downhill from there.

But, Edwards brought a lot of it upon himself with off-field issues, troubles with the law and questions about his commitment to the game.

“He never had any disputes with his teammates,” Cribbs said. “He was a good team guy. He got along in the locker room. He just had problems with the fans.”

Problems the Browns don’t have to deal with anymore.

“I’m always sick of drama,” Browns left tackle Joe Thomas said. “I would rather just go out and play games. Certainly not having that has been nice.”

After busting out in his third season by setting career highs with 80 catches, 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns and making the Pro Bowl, Edwards had a lot expected of him.

Instead, his production slipped _ as did passes out of his hands. That, maybe more than anything else, drew the ire of fans.

“I got a bad rap based off one year,” Edwards said, adding that the revolving door that was the Browns‘ quarterback situation didn’t help. “I don’t think it was fair and it stuck with me.”

All the way to New York, where he has 25 catches for 453 yards and five scores this season _ and has held onto the ball week after week.

“With his hard work he put in in the offseason, his dedication to this team this year, it’s been great,” Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez said.

Edwards is in the last year of his contract with the Jets and says he wants to remain with the franchise, but there’s some doubt whether that will happen. He was arrested on drunken-driving charges in September, suspended for one quarter of a game by the team and could face additional punishment by the NFL once the legal process plays out. His next court date is scheduled for Jan. 11.

“I haven’t complained, I haven’t said anything,” he said. “With the exception of the one situation, I haven’t been a distraction _ although that was pretty distracting.”

Edwards acknowledges he’s a little more excited this week about playing in Cleveland, saying it’s a chance to make a statement.

“We could sit up here and talk about me and my relationship with Cleveland, but that’s better-suited for a book,” he said.

Edwards said he doesn’t speak with any of his former teammates unless he runs into them in the offseason.

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