CLEVELAND (AP) – Former Browns wide receiver Braylon Edwards has been charged with misdemeanor assault over accusations he punched a man outside a Cleveland nightclub, an incident that prompted his trade to the New York Jets.
Cleveland city prosecutor Victor Perez filed the charge Monday. It carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. An arraignment was scheduled for Nov. 17 in Cleveland Municipal Court.
Patrick D’Angelo, an attorney for Edwards, said his client will plead not guilty.
The Jets said in a statement that the team was aware of the allegations prior to the trade and will let the legal process to run its course.
Edwards is accused of punching promoter Edward Givens, a friend of NBA star LeBron James, following an argument Oct. 5 on the sidewalk outside View Ultralounge & Nightclub on Prospect Avenue. James called Edwards’ actions “childish” and presumed the NFL player was jealous of him and his friends.
Two days later, Browns coach Eric Mangini traded Edwards to the Jets for wide receiver Chansi Stuckey, linebacker Jason Trusnik and two undisclosed draft choices. Edwards also faces possible punishment from the NFL for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Edwards’ tenure with the Browns was marked by incidents on and off the field, and the alleged assault was the last straw for Mangini. While with Cleveland, Edwards, who is in the final year of his contract, dropped passes, criticized the team’s play-calling, argued with teammates and famously took a helicopter to the Ohio State-Michigan game in 2006 despite being told not to go.
Edwards was also out partying in March with teammate Donte’ Stallworth, who later that night struck and killed a a 59-year-old pedestrian while driving drunk in Miami. Stallworth is suspended for the season.
In his debut with New York, Edwards had five catches for 64 yards and a touchdown in a 31-27 loss to Miami. He has nine catches for 118 yards since joining the Jets. Edwards made the Pro Bowl in 2007, when he caught 80 passes for 1,289 yards and 16 TDs.