The San Francisco 49ers released wide receiver Braylon Edwards (15 receptions, 181 yards, 0 TD’s) due to his lack of production because of injuries. The 49ers signed Edwards to a one-year deal in the off-season hoping he would became the deep threat the passing game needed. Instead Edward hurt his knee in week two which required surgery and caused him to miss the next four games. In his second game back from knee surgery against the Redskins, Edwards injured his shoulder and has not recovered since. Here is a statement from Edwards on the release:
“I was released today by the 49ers due to my injury that required more time to rehab and hasn’t allowed me to re-sync with the offense. I wish the 49ers organization the best of luck during the Playoffs. I will be working hard this off season to strengthen my knee and prepare for the 2012 season. Thanks for your continued support and for being such loyal fans,” Braylon Edwards.
The timing of the release is strange given the 49ers are entering the last week of the season and the receiving corps only has Michael Crabtree, Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams and Brett Swain. Ginn missed last week’s game against the Seahawks while Williams suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of the game. Both are question marks for the last game of the season against the Rams. Swain has only seven career receptions.
Another wide out will be added to the roster with the player most likely being rookie Joe Hastings who is on the practice squad. Don’t look for the 49ers to go big for Terrell Owens or Randy Moss because both are done as effective receivers in the NFL. Other possible options include free agents Chris Chambers and Brian Finneran.
The knee and shoulder injuries to Edwards have to be more serious then what is being said because the 49ers need all the help they can get at wide receiver. The passing offense could also be without Delaine Walker for an extend time after he suffered a broken jaw on a brutal hit in the win over the Seahawks. Edwards was ineffective this season and it was most likely because of his injuries, but you would think the team would keep someone who has experience with the offense. This is why bringing Hastings from the practice squad to the active roster is the more likely move the 49ers make heading into the playoffs.
With Edwards off the roster the depleted receiving corps will be younger and less experienced. The passing game was already struggling and with the release of Edwards and the injuries to three receivers, the 49ers will enter the playoffs with an offense that is only a threat in the running game.