Posted by Ryan Wilson
We've spent enough time documenting all the recent legal run-ins of NFL players, that it's only fair that we give equal time to some of the good deeds, too. Michael Vick was a high school commencement speaker in Philadelphia Friday, and not only did he talk about redemption, he surprised two students with $5,000 college scholarships.
Nice touch, for sure. But former Browns first-round pick Braylon Edwards took it further. In May 2007, when Edwards was still in Cleveland, his foundation pledged $1 million in scholarship money to students in the Cleveland Municipal School District.
The catch, via Shutdown Corner: "Students and their parents signed a pledge that the students would complete at least 15 hours of annual community service and maintain a grade point average of 2.5 or higher. Those students were also given help from tutors and workshops through the process via Edwards' ADVANCE 100 program."
Edwards has been known for many things during his NFL career, most of them having to do with hands of stone, running afoul of the law, and his love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with Browns fans. But give him credit: he kept his word. And now, 100 students each received a $10,000 scholarship, courtesy of Edwards.
In fact, Braylon sounded downright inspirational when he tweeted the news last month.
"As the 2nd most hated man in Clev. & a man of my word, Today I will honor a promise made to 100 students in Cleveland 6 years ago … The last of my Advance 100 students will graduate from my program & head off to college on scholarships that I will provide them with. … Guys enjoy & embrace your new beginnings and remember your promise to me, to reach back & help someone else along the way!!!"
Points for pandering to his audience. As Shutdown Corner's Doug Farrar notes, "In 2009, Edwards got into it with a friend of James outside a Cleveland nightclub and punched the man, leading to comments from LeBron that Edwards' actions were motivated by jealousy." Perhaps there is still some ill-will towards Edwards for how things ended in Cleveland, but compared to LeBron, he might as well be Drew Carey. Well played, sir.
Once the lockout ends, Edwards says he'd like to stay with the Jets. One problem: New York will have to decide how to allocate their salary-cap dollars; in addition to Edwards, Santonio Holmes and Brad Smith are also free agents -- not to mention the never-ending rumors about Randy Moss or Plaxico Burress.
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