BEREA—Eric Mangini spent the majority of his 30 minute meeting with the media explaining and justifying his reasons for jettisoning Braylon Edwards to the Jets for Chansi Stuckey, Jason Trusnik and two draft choices.
It was rumored heavily the Giants were very much after Edwards leading to the NFL Draft in April to replace Plaxico Burress. Rumors had the Browns receiving as much as first and third-round draft choices and a wide receiver, Domenik Hixon. Reportedly, the deal fell apart because the Browns wanted Steve Smith instead of Hixon. Other reports said the Browns weren't offered a first-round pick for Edwards.
Mangini wouldn't confirm or deny if the Browns received better offers for Edwards from the Giants.
"Opportunities do come up at different times," Mangini said. "You look at the offers you have and make the best decisions at the time.
"We thought this was a really good thing for us and for Braylon and I wish the best for him," he said. "I thought it was good for us in the short term and in the long term. There were some components in this trade for the Browns to add depth."
Mangini said the trade wasn't a kneejerk reaction to Edwards' most recent off-the-field incident after Sunday's game with the Bengals.
"It's about us building a team and continuing to grow," he said. "It doesn't happen overnight. We want to build something that will be long term, as well as the short term."
Edwards leaves the Browns with 10 receptions for 139 yards and no touchdowns. He had no receptions in Sunday's loss to the Bengals.
Edwards was the third player selected in the 2005 draft and he teamed up with Derek Anderson to have his most productive season in 2007 when he had 80 receptions for 1289 yards, including 16 touchdowns. In 2008, Edwards had 55 catches for 873 yards, but had just three touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl in 2007.
"Obviously, it's a business and that's the way things go," Anderson said. "I appreciate everything he did for me, as he made a lot of plays for me.
"Obviously, (the front office) made the decision and we have to roll with it."
Anderson is now without most of his playmakers from the 2007 season. Kellen Winslow was traded to Tampa Bay prior to the season. Joe Jurevicius retired after knee injuries and staph infections. Edwards is the latest to join the list of former Browns. Anderson thinks Edwards will be back on top in the near future.
"Hopefully, he gets things going, again," Anderson said. "He's a heckuva player."
Anderson said he knows Edwards was down about having no catches against the Bengals, but doesn't think that spilled over to his off-the-field incident Monday morning.
"I'm sure he was frustrated."
Mangini is picking up two more players who played for him with the Jets in the trade.
"Contrary, to what some people might think, we do talk to teams other than the Jets," he said. One of (the players acquired) is Chansi Stuckey who started for them."
Stuckey, 25, has 11 receptions for 120 yards with one touchdown in 2009. The 6-0, 196 pound receiver was a third-round choice of the Jets in 2007 from Clemson. Stuckey spent his rookie season on injured reserve and had 32 receptions for 359 yards, including three touchdowns in 2008.
Stuckey has been used as a slot receiver and Mangini said that might continue with the Browns.
"He's had some success (in the slot) and we look for him to continue to do that," he said. "He's still developing.
Anderson is looking forward to working with Stuckey.
"We traded for him for a reason and I'm sure he's a good football player."
Mangini said that although Trusnik is listed as a linebacker, he's made his marks on special teams.
"Jason Trusnik is an Ohio native," he said. "He was AFC Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 3. We also received a couple of draft choices."
Trusnik (6-4, 250) is from Nordonia and played at Ohio Northern before signing with the Jets as an undrafted free agent in 2007."
It is believed the Browns also received third-and fifth-round draft choices in 2010 in the deal.
"The two players coming in will contribute," Mangini said. "As we go along, we'll see what happens. I think it creates an opportunity for Brian Robiskie in his development."
Robiskie was the first receiver the Browns selected in the second-round, but it's Mohamed Massaquoi the other second-round pick who has emerged thus far. Mangini alluded to the fact that the trade of Edwards might open up a chance to see what Robiskie can do.
Mangini alluded a bit to the possibility of trading Edwards going into the draft.
"You look at all the different things headed into the draft," he said. "We drafted two guys high and I like what Mohamed has done and the progress Brian has made on special teams. Now, this presents an opportunity for him as a receiver."
Anderson is confident that if called upon, Robiskie can step in and contribute.
"He's been good," Anderson said. "I think Brian continues to work and he'll be fine in whatever we ask of him to do."
Robiskie has not caught a pass in the regular season.
Anderson said the offense will have to adjust and he will need to continue to build to get everyone in sync.
"We have to have 11 guys on the field all being in the right place and working together," he said. "(The trade) is not anything we have control of. We have 11 guys out there who have to work together."
Massaquoi has already moved to the starting position on the depth chart and Josh Cribbs is listed behind Edwards.
Mangini wouldn't name who the starter opposite of Massaquoi for Sunday's game.
"We'll have to see at the end of the week," he said.
He was asked if he had any reservations about starting two rookies.
"No, if those are the two guys who make the strongest case."
Mangini said he makes it clear what he expects from the team.
"Personal conduct is important and opportunities present themselves," Mangini said. "It's a fresh start for him and I told him I hope he continues to reach his potential and take advantage of the opportunity he has.
"I talk to the squad all the time (about conduct)," he said. "It's not reactionary. I'm proactive about it."
Anderson said the players know what is expected of them.
"Eric makes it clear what he expects and the guys understand that."
Mangini said he met with Edwards and wished him well in New York.
"When we talked, we had a good talk," he said. "I think it's a good opportunity for him and that he could take advantage of that."