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Report: Braylon Edwards didn’t throw punch

The Newark Star-Ledger reports that Braylon Edwards wasn’t the person who threw the punch at Cleveland nightclub promoter Edward Givens in an incident that occurred early Monday morning.

Edwards appeared to reach a breaking point under the first-year Browns coach Eric Mangini. He has been fined several times by Mangini and is one of several players to have filed a grievance with the league over the fines handed down to players, according to someone with knowledge of the situation but who is not authorized to speak publicly on the issue.

Also, there’s speculation that Edwards is the player who was fined $1,701 for drinking a bottle of water in his hotel room without paying for it.

As for the incident on Sunday, a member of Edwards’ entourage — not him — threw the punch, according to someone with knowledge of the situation but who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly about the incident.

Okay, so who’s lying then? Givens said it was Edwards that specifically punched him. So unless it was a scrum and multiple punches were being thrown (which doesn’t sound like it was the case), then it would have been easy for Givens to single out Edwards as the puncher.

That means either someone is covering up for Edwards or Givens is lying for whatever reason. (Maybe to make Edwards look bad since he’s a friend of LeBron?)

Where are the Hardy Boys? We need a mystery solved…

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @TheScoresReport. You can also follow TSR editor Gerardo Orlando @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom, and you can follow TSR editor Anthony Stalter @AnthonyStalter.

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NFL to investigate Braylon Edwards

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that the NFL is investigating the actions of Browns receiver Braylon Edwards, who allegedly punched an entertainment promoter early Monday morning outside a nightclub.

First-offenders of the policy generally do not receive discipline until the legal process plays out. But Goodell has been strict in dealing with repeat offenders.

The question is whether Edwards is considered a repeat offender.

Last November, he was found guilty of driving 120 mph on Interstate 90 and was fined $150 and sentenced to 30 hours community service.

Goodell also is aware that Edwards was drinking with teammate Donte Stallworth the night of Stallworth’s tragic car accident in Miami Beach, which resulted in the death of pedestrian Mario Reyes. Edwards was not charged with anything. Goodell came down hard on Stallworth and suspended him for one year.

If Edwards were suspended, the Browns would have the opportunity to take a closer look at some of their young wideouts, namely rookie Mohamed Massaquoi, who had a breakout game against the Bengals on Sunday. Also, playmaker Joshua Cribbs would likely get more touches in the offense, so losing Braylon “Drops McGee” Edwards might not be a bad thing.

If Massaquoi and Cribbs step up, there’s zero chance the Browns re-sign Edwards this offseason when he becomes a free agent. Outside of one good season, he’s done nothing to warrant a long-term extension.

Maybe the Browns should see if LeBron is interested in playing the Z position in their offense.

LeBron calls out Braylon Edwards for being “childish”

After Braylon Edwards allegedly punched one of his friends early Monday morning outside of a Cleveland nightclub, Cavs’ superstar LeBron James called the actions of the Browns receiver “childish.”

From ESPN.com:

James said Edwards punched Edward Givens, a friend of James’ and a promoter with a Cleveland marketing firm who was working outside the club around 2:30 a.m. ET.

“I’ve never crossed paths with Braylon before, but it seems like there’s a little jealousy going on with Braylon and me and my friends. I have no idea why,” James said. “I’ve never said anything to Braylon at all. But for him to do that is very childish. My friend is 130 pounds. Seriously. It’s like hitting one of my kids. It doesn’t make sense.”

James says he was home when the fight occurred, but got a call from Givens telling him about it at 7 a.m. Monday.

As I wrote earlier today when the news broke, this is incredibly bad timing for Edwards, who is seeking a new long-term contract. Why he would feel the need to strike anyone in the face is beyond me, but to do it when you’re trying to convince a team to pay you millions of dollars is just idiotic.

I wonder what fueled Edwards’ hatred of James. I know Braylon takes exception to LeBron not rooting for Cleveland teams, but I hardly think that’s the only reason why Edwards has decided to openly rip James in the past, not to mention punch his buddy in the face.

Considering Braylon is a Michigan guy, one would think that this isn’t a territorial issue. My guess is that Edwards is just flat out jealous that LeBron holds the key to Cleveland while Braylon has been one of the city’s whipping boys for several years now.

Gerardo Orlando of Cleveland Scores wonders if it’s time for the Browns to give up on Braylon following this incident and rookie Mohamed Massaquoi’s coming out party Sunday vs. Cincinnati.

Braylon Edwards accused of assault

The Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting that Browns receiver Braylon Edwards has been accused of assaulting a man outside a Cleveland nightclub early Monday morning

Edward Givens said the incident took place outside of the View Night Club on 618 Prospect at about 2:30 a.m. Givens said he went to Lutheran Hospital this morning because he suffered a black eye and a cut. He said he also has a headache.

The suspect’s name on the police report is redacted. But multiple sources and the victim say the suspect is Edwards.

In an interview with Cleveland.com’s Starting Blocks blog this morning, Givens said:

“After the club closed, I was outside greeting and saying goodbye to people. Braylon comes up and started saying things, degrading me. He said if it wasn’t for LeBron or the Four Horsemen, I wouldn’t have what I have, nor would I be able to get girls. Everyone knows Braylon has a problem with LeBron. So I had to speak up for myself. The conversation started to escalate. As some of his teammates started to pull him back, he punched me. I have a black eye and a cut. I’m not a violent guy.

“As long as I’ve known Braylon, I’ve allowed him and his friends to come into our events free of charge. Whatever jealousy he has with LeBron, he felt he needed to take it out on me.”

Police officers then broke up another disturbance involving the suspect.

I’ll hold judgment until more details come out, but I will say that this is the last thing the Browns need after losing to the Bengals in overtime on Sunday to fall to 0-4.

This would also be the last thing Edwards needs seeing as how he’s seeking a new contract. One would think that players seeking multi-million dollar pay raises would lay low during the season, but some athletes continue to prove that they’re not the sharpest tools in the shed.

If Edwards was involved, he should consider himself fortunate if the incident blows over. But if the victim decides to press charges, then Edwards could have a hard time finding a suitor that will give him a long-term deal. Having the dropsies is one thing, punching a man in the face outside a nightclub during the season is quite another.

Another interesting storyline from this incident is Braylon’s supposed hatred for Lebron. Don’t forget that Edwards once ripped Lebron for being from Akron, yet he’s not a “Cleveland guy” and likes “everybody but from his hometown” when it comes to following sports teams.

Looks like Brayon has some hang ups about Lebron owning the city of Cleveland.

Say goodbye to LeBron, Cleveland

Braylon Edwards speaketh the truth:

“LeBron (James) isn’t a Cleveland guy. LeBron only plays for the Cavaliers, and who knows if he even likes the Cavaliers? He doesn’t like the Indians. He doesn’t like the Browns.”

The Browns receiver made his comments after LeBron James hung out on the Dallas sidelines during pregame warmups prior to the Cowboys/Browns game Sunday afternoon, hugging Terrell Owens and Adam “Don’t Call Me Pacman” Jones, chatting with owner Jerry Jones, and wearing a Yankees cap.

Of course, it was a Yankees cap that first had people questioning LeBron’s loyalty to his hometown. As a (tortured) Cleveland fan, I was pretty fired up when LeBron wore a Yankees hat to Jacobs Field for the Indians’ opening playoff game against the Yanks last year:

Cleveland is most definitely a football city, but LeBron is without question the face of Cleveland sports right now. That doesn’t mean that he has to root for every Cleveland sports franchise, but he crossed the line when he wore a Yankees hat to the game last night. That’d be like David Ortiz donning a Peyton Manning jersey during a Colts/Pats game in New England or, even worse, Tom Brady wearing a Yankees hat to a Sox/Yankees game at Fenway. You just don’t do it.

At the time, what irked me most wasn’t that LeBron wore the hat to the game, but that he taunted the fans — who are, of course, his fans during basketball season — by holding the hat above his head and egging on the crowd. It was an immature and classless move, and at the time I said that it spoke very poorly of his so-called loyalties to his hometown.

And now this.

As I mentioned previously, athletes are fans too, and they can root for whomever they want. I’m not ragging on LeBron for being a Cowboys fan or a Yankees fan or even a Bulls fan, all of whom he rooted for as a kid growing up in Akron. I do think it’s fair to call him a frontrunner, since all three of those teams were winning titles back then, but that’s not the point.

In fact, LeBron choosing to publicize his allegiances in front of Cleveland fans and, in the Indians/Yankees case, even taunting the fans in the process, isn’t even the point anymore. The point now, as Braylon Edwards pointed out, is simple: LeBron James isn’t a Cleveland guy. And that’s very bad news for the Cavaliers and their fans.

LeBron can opt out of his contract after the 2009-10 season, at which point the Cavaliers will be able to offer the star forward more money than any other team in the league. That may sound like a big advantage for the Cavs, and maybe it will prove to be. But working against Cleveland is the fact that LeBron’s contract with Nike will reportedly pay him more if he moves to a larger market like New York or LA. Maybe that’s just a rumor, because I haven’t found any concrete numbers on this, but it’s a widely reported rumor that LeBron has never bothered to shoot down. Add on top of that the fact that LeBron would make even more money in endorsements playing in a big city while also inflating his already enormous worldwide popularity, and however many more millions the Cavaliers can offer LeBron will look like chump change in the final equation.

And then, of course, there’s LeBron’s buddy Jay-Z, who just happens to be part owner of the New Jersey Nets. The Nets just happened to shed a bunch of salary by trading Richard Jefferson this offseason. They also just happen to be planning to move to Brooklyn and open a brand new arena in 2010. And Brooklyn just happens to be LeBron’s “favorite borough” in his favorite city of New York.

Throughout all of this city-wide “will he stay or will he go?” fretting, the one ace the fans thought they had up their sleeve was the fact that LeBron was a hometown guy who actually wanted to stay in Cleveland. Well, I’m not buying it, and neither is Braylon Edwards:

“He’s a guy from Akron who likes everybody but his hometown. I don’t know how that’s possible, but it is what it is, and he is who he is. You know, it’s LeBron.”

Preach on, Braylon.

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