When the 49ers hired Jim Harbaugh to be their head coach some of the important qualities he wanted in a player were commitment and character. With the 49ers signing wide receiver Braylon Edwards on Thursday, Harbaugh and GM Trent Baalke showed they are willing to skirt those values to get the player they wanted. The 49ers were desperate for a deep threat receiver because Ted Ginn Jr. clearly is not an option. Michael Crabtree’s foot injury escalated the need so the 49ers were willing to sign the top free agent available regardless of their character. The signing of Edwards brings a legitimate deep threat defenses will have to account for opening up the middle for Vernon Davis and Crabtree on the outside.
Last year Edwards had his best season since 2006 with 53 receptions, 904 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Shockingly he had good season in a contract year but Edwards has been inconsistent and is known for dropping passes. He will help spread the defense out and gives the offense more threats.
The 49er Faithful cannot ignore Edwards’ off field troubles and how they might affect the team. Edwards was convicted of drunk-driving in 2009 and is currently on probation. However that has not stopped the wide receiver from staying out of bad situations as he was allegedly involved in a bar fight on Monday night in his home state of Michigan. Innocence until proven guilty, but if he is found guilty the NFL will suspense him for a few games which hurts the 49ers.
Edwards has been rejected by the Browns and Jets so he arrives to the 49ers with a chip on his shoulder, which if channeled properly is an advantage. Edwards is a welcomed addition to the team but he will need to prove he can keep his diva qualities in-check and stay out of trouble.