MIAMI (AP) - Braylon Edwards‘ team-imposed suspension was brief. The fallout over his drunken-driving arrest continues.
Edwards remained on the New York Jets‘ sideline for the first quarter of their game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday night, taking the field immediately after the opening 15 minutes were complete.
“We’ve made our disappointment clear to Braylon,” Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said in a statement released by the team about 90 minutes before kickoff. “Now he must deal with the consequences of his actions as the legal process runs its course, and the league will determine the appropriate discipline under the guidelines of the collective bargaining agreement.”
He caught a 67-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter, easily beating Jason Allen in 1-on-1 coverage and streaking down the left sideline unbothered for his second score of the season, celebrating with an array of dance moves in the end zone after his team reclaimed the lead, 21-17.
Still, the early response from some around the league _ notably former Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy _ was that the Jets didn’t go far enough in sanctioning the talented yet often troublesome Edwards.
“He told me he felt Braylon had been punished enough,” Dungy said on NBC. “He’d been embarrassed in the media, he’s going to lose money in free agency, so he didn’t feel he had to pile on him. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think you have to discipline players. … I wasn’t worried about the collective bargaining agreement when I coached.”
Cris Collinsworth, who was calling the game for NBC, was more succinct.
“I would have suspended him for this game because of a pattern of behavior,” Collinsworth said on NBC’s pregame show, citing the fact that Edwards was with Donte Stallworth the night Stallworth later drove drunk and killed a pedestrian in Miami.
“My question, to me, would have been, ‘When are you going to understand this?’” Collinsworth continued. “When are you going to understand you’ve got to take responsibility? And from this football team’s standpoint, they would have been better served had they gone ahead and suspended him for this one game.”
Edwards apologized on Wednesday for creating the distraction. He could have taken advantage of two programs _ one run by the Jets, one by the NFL Players Association _ that are aimed at preventing players from driving when they are too impaired to do so safely.
He sat out the Jets‘ first 17 plays, in which they rolled up 131 yards.
“He misses 17 plays,” NBC’s Al Michaels said as Edwards took the field for the second quarter. “They hardly missed him.”
Edwards was arraigned Tuesday after a breath test showed he had a blood-alcohol level twice the legal limit when he was stopped, prosecutors said. Jets owner Woody Johnson said he told Edwards that his behavior was unacceptable.
Through two games, Edwards had six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown. The touchdown catch was his first grab of Sunday night’s game.