No Edwards deal hurts Manning’s draft value

Eli Manning against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2008 season. (Chris McGrath / Getty Images)

Eli Manning against the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2008 season. (Chris McGrath / Getty Images)

The rumored deal between the Cleveland Browns and New York Giants that would send Braylon Edwards to the Big Apple is “all but dead,” according to the New York Daily News.

While negotiations could heat back up during this weekend’s NFL Draft, it appears that Giants GM Jerry Reese won’t part with a first-round pick or DE Mathias Kiwanuka. If the two sides don’t reach a deal, the G-Men would look to add a wide receiver in the draft.

However, there’s little chance that Reese will find a wideout that can replace the presence of Plaxico Burress.

That’s bad news for the value of Eli Manning.

The veteran quarterback threw for multiple touchdowns just once without Burress last season, and his numbers were dreadful down the stretch. In fact, Manning averaged a mere 154 yards and threw two touchdowns in his final four starts.

Burress was absent for all four of those contests.

The Giants have little chance to land the top wideouts in the 2009 class, Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree or Missouri’s Jeremy Maclin with the No. 29 overall selection.

That makes Maryland’s Derrius Bay-Heyward, North Carolina’s Hakeem Nicks, Florida’s Percy Harvin and Ohio State’s Brian Robiskie more viable options.

None of those four will be able to replicate Burress’ impact in the pass attack.

If the Giants don’t make a move to acquire Edwards or Anquan Boldin, it will be up to Domenik Hixon, Steve Smith, Sinorice Moss and Mario Manningham to make an impact.

Those names will not strike fear into opposing defenses, and none of them will help improve Manning’s value.

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