RENTON, Wash. (AP) — When he was signed at the end of July, giving Braylon Edwards another shot seemed like a desperate move by the Seattle Seahawks as they tried to find answers at wide receiver.
It may turn out to be a very shrewd decision.
“I’m just trying to make sure I know what I’m doing, giving myself an opportunity not only to make some plays but make this team,” Edwards said.
Through the first two weeks of the preseason, Edwards has been among the Seahawks’ most impressive wide receivers, pushing for a spot on the final 53-man roster that seemed like a longshot when he had his initial tryout and eventually signed with Seattle on July 31. He’s popped in practice, had a leaping 39-yard touchdown catch in Seattle’s preseason opener against Tennessee and looked better than Terrell Owens, the other veteran wide receiver signed during training camp.
It isn’t certain that Edwards will make the squad. But another strong performance Friday night when Seattle (No. 22 in the AP Pro32) travels to Kansas City would go a long way toward securing a spot on the final roster.
“I’m not surprised by anything he (does),” said Seahawks tight end Kellen Winslow, who played with Edwards in Cleveland. “I’ve seen this guy every day for four years together. I’m not surprised by anything he can do. That’s why he’s here.”
Edwards is trying to leave behind a miserable 2011 season in San Francisco during which he was dogged by knee problems and was released after Week 16, missing out on the 49ers’ run in the NFC playoffs. He played in just nine games for San Francisco and spent most of the offseason looking for a new home.
He was thought to be headed for Miami after his initial tryout with the Seahawks and even had a brief appearance on HBO’s “Hard Knocks” before the Dolphins decided not to offer him a deal. So Edwards came back to Seattle where he’s in an offense he understands.
He’s exactly the type of reclamation project that coach Pete Carroll has succeeded with already in his first two seasons with the Seahawks.
Two years ago it was bringing Mike Williams in off the scrapheap and turning him into a 65-catch receiver on Seattle’s way to a playoff appearance. But Williams struggled for most of 2011 and was cut in July, leaving the Seahawks devoid of the big-bodied receivers Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell want.
The Seahawks hoped that some of their younger receivers would develop and possibly move into that role. But it’s Edwards who has been the most impressive thus far, even if he feels like the old man of the group.
“The average age on this team is about 21,” Edwards joked. “I’m 29. I never thought that I was old until now.”
Edwards has been working as the split end, but also feels comfortable at flanker. If Sidney Rice can stay healthy — Rice will make his preseason debut on Friday night at Kansas City — and Edwards wins the other starting job, the Seahawks could have one of the bigger receiving duos in the NFL.