Falcons sign Vikings’ DE Ray Edwards to 5-year deal
The Atlanta Falcons got better Friday signing the Minnesota Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards to a five-year $30 million deal. The Falcons needed a quality defensive end after giving up on 2007 first round pick Jamal Anderson who never turned into the sack artist he was projected to be .Anderson was released along with wide receiver Michael Jenkins earlier Friday freeing up a $7 million in salary cap money.
In a blog via Twitter and the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Falcon’s insider D. Orlando Ledbetter writes; “the Falcons were interested in Edwards after the draft. But they later cooled on him and pursued Carolina’s Charles Johnson. The Falcons backed out when the Panthers made a lucrative offer to Johnson.”
Beginning his sixth year in the league, Edwards is credited with 29.5 career sacks, 139 tackles and 43 assists. His numbers have shown steady improvement since joining the Vikings in 2006.
A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, Edwards attended Purdue University where he played three years where he logged 16 sacks in 36 games, 18 as a starter. Edwards was named to the 2003 Sporting News All freshman team and was honorable mention All-Big Ten in 2004. The Vikings drafted Edwards as the 127th pick in the fourth round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
During his rookie season, Edwards appeared in 15 of 16 regular season games, the most of any Vikings rookie that year, and started in two of the last four games. After recording three sacks and 10 tackles his rookie year, he showed improvement in 2007 netting five sacks and 30 tackles in 12 games. Edwards was suspended by the NFL for the remaining four games of 2007 for violating the leagues substance abuse policy. He enjoyed a breakout year in 2009 with 8.5 sacks. Edwards became a restricted free agent in the 2010 off season.