Still shopping the blue-light table for specials, the Seahawks added one-time star Braylon Edwards Tuesday as a potential replacement at wide receiver for the recently cut Mike Williams.
Edwards, 29, was a part-timer last year for the San Francisco, playing in nine games, starting five, catching 15 balls for 181 yards. He was waived before the season ended. A Michigan man like 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, Edwards had surgery on his right knee to repair a meniscus tear in September and never fully recovered. He had a second surgery in the off-season.
Edwards, listed at 6-3 and 211 pounds, offers the sort of big, strong target like Williams provided in 2010, when he led the Seahawks in receptions after being out of the NFL for two years.
“I’m still on the rise,” said Edwards after his first practice. “I still have a lot left in the tank.”
A Pro Bowler in 2007 for Cleveland, which drafted him third in the first round of the 2005 draft, he caught 80 passes for 1,289 yards and 16 touchdowns. He’s never approached the production since, playing for the Jets twice as well as San Francisco.
Edwards played a dubious role for the 49ers in their 19-17 win over the Seahawks in Seattle Dec. 24. The No. 3 receiver, he caught one pass and made two penalties, an illegal block on a Frank Gore run to the Seahawks 3-yard line, and a pass-interference call on the first play of the 49ers eventual go-ahead scoring drive. He also tangled with Seahawks safety Brandon Browner.
Edwards joins another recent free-agent addition, Antonio Bryant, in a wide-open position battle where only flanker Sidney Rice, also coming back from injury, seems assured a starting spot.
The Seahawks also signed tight end Cooper Helfet, who had been released in May. To make room on the 90-man roster for Edwards and Helfet, the Seahawks released wide receiver Cameron Kenney and kicker Carson Wiggs.