He was supposed to get traded. It was draft day and the Browns were talking with the Giants about a proposed deal. Cleveland was serious about getting rid of Edwards, the star wide receiver who saw his receiving totals drop drastically last season. But the Giants didn't want to give up first and third-round picks for Edwards.
There was this perception that Edwards wanted out of Cleveland. He could have sulked, and maybe he did, by missing several offseason workouts following the draft.
But in an interview with FanHouse, Edwards said he's committed to the Browns.
"I never said I wanted to go," Edwards said. "The Browns tried to put a trade out there. It's always about progress in any level of sport. It will always be business. Trades happen, releases happen, I never took it personal. They thought highly enough of me to ask for a lot and in doing so, the Giants couldn't give the Browns what they wanted. It's a business."
Edwards decided to move on but it wasn't easy. In 2007, Edwards set a franchise record with 1,289 receiving yards with a team-leading 16 touchdowns. He also earned his first Pro Bowl berth.
But last season, things fell apart. He was booed in the season opener against the Cowboys, after missing numerous practices during training camp with injuries. He still led the Browns in receiving but had only 55 catches for 873 yards with three touchdowns. Edwards led the NFL in dropped passes.
The Browns fired coach Romeo Crennel at season's end and hired Eric Mangini.
The wide receiver said he's happy Mangini is running things now.
"I do feel like it's a fresh start for everybody," Edwards said. "Fresh start for the quarterbacks [Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson] and coach Mangini. Fresh start for me coming off a subpar year and it's time to show people what I can do. Everybody is excited."
This weekend, Edwards continued to show a commitment to his hometown of Detroit.
The Braylon Edwards Foundation's Celebrity Charity Weekend to benefit education programs and the arts in Detroit started on Friday.
Saturday is supposed to be the best day of the three-day weekend. Proceeds support the Music Hall Performing Arts Center, Detroit High School for the Performing Arts and the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit.
It started with Edwards hosting a brunch on Saturday honoring women who help others reach their dreams. Saturday night, Edwards co-hosted the 3rd Annual Arts & Stars Gala at the Max M. Fisher Music Center with Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Jessica White. The event raises money to promote and support arts education.
Edwards' commitment to Detroit developed from going to the public school system.
"My parents made a point of making sure community is important and our city needs a lot," Edwards said. "To come up here and make it happen is the key. If everybody helps each other you can get a snowball effect where a two turns into a four and so on. We want people to get involved."
This is the third year of the event, and Edwards' foundation has already raised more than $1 million.
"Being from the public schools of Detroit, I saw a need in the education of Cleveland," he said. "Detroit has the lowest rates of graduates in high school. When I got drafted by Cleveland, I looked it up and I saw they were the second lowest and that's the thing about a foundation, you want something to be passionate about."
Edwards is passionate about his Browns. He believes the pressure is on a lot of people, not just him, to have a successful season. Gone is tight end Kellen Winslow and the status of Donte' Stallworth is also uncertain, though its expected Stallworth will miss the 2009 season.
This leaves all the pressure on Edwards to produce.