Why Edwards practiced with players who might not be his teammates next season came down to an issue of respect for the quarterback and the receiver's wish that he remain associated with the Jets.
"We kind of established that we really actually care for each other," Edwards told The Star-Ledger on Sunday. "I was talking to Mark, trying to get some insight. 'You're the golden goose, have you talked to anybody? What's your feeling? What's your gut instinct?'
"He gave me what he could, saying he really wanted me back; he wanted me to keep working with him, because even if I didn't come back, he wanted to see me be the best. Mark's younger (24) than I am, so for him to say that just really showed the person that he is, and the relationship that I believe we're beginning, or that we have."
Edwards, 28, will become an unrestricted free agent when the NFL lockout concludes. His future is cloudy enough that he recently sold his condo in New Jersey and returned to his home state of Michigan. He was back in Jersey this weekend to lead the Ronald McDonald House's statewide fundraising walk in Jackson.
"I'm not (in New Jersey) at all, I'm waiting to see what happens with the lockout and everything, but we're still up here, trying to help these kids," Edwards said before the event. "This is really about our commitment to what we start. We started a relationship with them, and just because (my time with the Jets is) on the fritz or I may not be here, we're still committed to our relationship."
Complicating matters is Edwards' DWI charge, with a trial scheduled to begin in July. Edwards downplayed the situation and is confident it will work itself to an acceptable conclusion.
"Sticking to generalities, without getting too in detail, (going to trial) is what we want," he said. "We feel that night happened a little differently than what they say, so we'll see what happens."