Jets Free Agent Braylon Edwards Faces Probation Hearing In Cleveland
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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Now that Jets star Braylon Edwards has resolved his drunken driving case, he’ll have to face a hearing in Cleveland to find out whether he’s violated his probation in a nightclub dust-up there.
The 28-year-old wide receiver-turned-free-agent will appear Wednesday before a judge who could sentence him to up to six months in jail if she finds a probation violation. Edwards was on probation after he pleaded no contest in January 2010 to a misdemeanor charge after being accused of punching a friend of LeBron James outside a Cleveland night club.
Edwards, then playing for the Cleveland Browns, was traded to the Jets two days after the October 2009 episode. In pleading no contest, Edwards said he was seeking to avoid the distraction of a trial so he could dedicate himself to football.
A Cleveland judge put Edwards on probation for 18 months, fined him $1,000 and gave him a suspended 180-day jail sentence. He could conceivably have to serve that sentence if he’s found to have violated his probation, though a judge wouldn’t have to impose any jail time.
While on probation from the Cleveland case, Edwards was charged with driving while intoxicated in Manhattan.
Edwards pleaded guilty Friday in New York to a misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge. That case will be closed without jail time or probation if he meets conditions that include paying a $500 fine and staying in an NFL substance-abuse counseling program.
“Now it’s really time to focus on football again,” he said.
It’s unclear whether it might net Edwards a league suspension as well as further legal entanglements in Cleveland. His lawyer, Peter M. Frankel has said he hoped the league and Cleveland authorities would take note of Edwards’ charitable activities; his Braylon Edwards Foundation gives scholarships and contributes to health and hunger-prevention groups.
Edwards had 53 catches for 904 yards and seven touchdowns this past season, and he made a key catch to set up the Jets’ game-winning field goal over the Indianapolis Colts in the final minute of an AFC wild card playoff game. He has said he’d like to stay with the Jets.
The Jets and general manager Mike Tannenbaum have 16 players who are unrestricted free agents, including Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Antonio Cromartie and Brad Smith.
Meanwhile, he got into a minor car crash in Detroit last month. Police said no tickets were issued, alcohol didn’t appear to be a factor and neither Edwards nor his passenger was hurt.
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