Brace yourself 12th man, Pete Carroll is at it again. Last week the Seahawks signed both Antonio Bryant and Braylon Edwards. On the plus side, both receivers had storied college careers and both have enjoyed some NFL success, but both careers have been derailed due to circumstances entirely within their control.
The newest Seahawks are former Belitnikoff award winners, Bryant in 2000 as a sophomore for the Pitt Panthers and Edwards in 2004 as a senior for the Michigan Wolverines. In ’02 Bryant was drafted in the 2nd (63 overall) by the Dallas Cowboys and Edwards was the #3 overall pick in 2005 by the Cleveland Browns. The receivers enjoyed a few productive seasons with the clubs that drafted them, and then some “things” happened. Bryant ensured his exit from “Big D” early in 2004 while ending an argument with Bill Parcells by throwing his sweaty practice jersey in his face. The argument was indeed over, but so were his Cowboy days. Bryant was traded to Cleveland during the 2004 season. In 2009 Edwards was arrested for a fight outside of a nightclub which, combined with being vocal about his frustration with the mounting losses in Cleveland, earned him a ticket to New York to play for the Jets. Bryant went on to play for the 49ers, Tampa, and Cincinnati, where he landed a 4 yr 28 million dollar deal (8 million guaranteed) but never played a game due his slow recovery from a torn meniscus suffered in 2009. Edwards played 1 more season for the Jets before going on to a dismal 2011 with the 49ers.
While the Seahawks are taking a financially low risk shot on Bryant and Edwards, it could be their coaching staff is hoping the past repeats itself. In 2005 both Edwards and Bryant played together for Cleveland combining for 101 receptions, 1521 yds and 7 td’s. In 2007 both Edwards and (new Seahawk) TE Kellen Winslow II played together in Cleveland combining for 162 receptions for 2395 yds and 21 scores. Then in 2009, Bryant and Winslow played together in Tampa totaling 113, 1484 and 9. A Winslow motorcycle wreck, in ’05, prevented all 3 of them from playing together in Cleveland. If Coach Carroll and company pull this off, and both receivers have productive seasons with the Seahawks, he will have earned himself a special place in the hearts of Seattleites everywhere. If they make the team and struggle, the 12th man will quickly tire of Carroll’s has-been reclamation projects and the coach’s chair might start to heat up just a ‘bit.