Braylon Edwards happy to return to Jets

Braylon Edwards celebrates on his way to defeating Braylon Edwards celebrates on his way to defeating the Patriots, 28-21, in the 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Photo Credit: Getty, 2011

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FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- It's never too late to come home. Even after two years.

"I left a small part of myself here when I left," Braylon Edwards said Thursday. "So to be back is great."

The wide receiver said he "moved on mentally" after the Jets chose not to re-sign him after the 2010 season. So the outspoken Edwards had no problems defending his buddy Mark Sanchez last week -- even if it meant calling members of the Jets' front office "idiots."

"After the tweet, it was like, 'Yeah, I've burned that bridge,' " Edwards said to laughter.

But in a matter of days, he went from Seattle castoff to sought-after commodity. Now the question is: Will he be healthy enough to play Monday night at Tennessee?

Coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that the Seahawks waived Edwards, 29, because they expected him to miss the rest of the season with a hamstring injury. Edwards disputed that, saying with a laugh: "Well, I don't think Pete has his M.D. I'm just joking. That was what they thought, that was his opinion, and everybody's entitled to theirs."

Said Rex Ryan: "Obviously, we felt different." He is "optimistic" that Edwards will face the Titans but cautioned that he'll lean on the medical staff. Edwards said there's a "high probability of a chance" he'll play, adding: "I think I'll be able to go on Monday, based off the progression I see. But I don't have my Ph.D."

He had 88 catches for 1,445 yards and 11 touchdowns as a Jet in 2009 and 2010 before his production dropped significantly: only 23 receptions for 255 yards and a TD in 19 games with the 49ers and Seahawks. But Edwards, who had knee surgery in January, said he hasn't lost a step.

"I feel great. I wish I could have showed it more or had the chance to show it more, but now I do," he said. "I've seen a lot, so I'm ready. You'll get a chance to see once I get out there."

Sanchez believes Edwards' route-running, blocking and leadership will be major assets. "He can pretty much do it all," Sanchez said. "It's great to have him back."

Wearing his original jersey No. 17 -- returned to him by rookie wideout Jordan White -- Edwards stepped onto the practice field with a renewed sense of purpose. He's thankful for the delayed reunion.

"I felt like I came here and gave a lot to the organization and I felt it was well-received and I felt like this was home," he said. "I know all the people in the administration by name, I know their background, I know the janitors, I know Ronaldo. So to leave, it kind of hurts a little bit. It's kind of like leaving college. You miss college."

Ryan said he was happy to see Edwards, too.

"Despite the obvious comment," joked Ryan, who turned 50 Thursday. He said he and general manager Mike Tannenbaum playfully argued about who was being referred to in Edwards' tweet. "So we're both OK with it," he said.

Edwards said there was no awkwardness between him and Tannenbaum when they saw each other in the team cafeteria Wednesday.

"I didn't have to apologize, but I chose to," Edwards said of his tweet. "It was a statement made [in] that heat of the moment. You know how that goes."

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