Dawson Devitt of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution considers whether soon-to-be UFA Ray Edwards would be a good fit for the Falcons. The main point against Edwards according to Devitt: Ray played on the same line with 3 Pro-Bowlers and still never managed double-digit sacks in any one season. The main point in Edwards’ favor: His physical gifts. And the fact that he would be lining up opposite Pro Bowler John Abraham, theoretically helping him to produce big numbers (cause that theory proved so true when Ray was lining up across from Jared Allen).
Here’s what Dawson Devitt leaves out while discussing Edwards: The fact that he is a whining malcontent knucklehead who clashes with his teammates on the sidelines, rips his front office and does goofy off-season things like launch boxing careers. He also neglects to mention that much of Edwards’ reputation as a good pass rusher is based on one performance: His three sack playoff game against the Cowboys and their dismal offensive line.
I can understand outside observers looking at Ray Edwards and thinking he still has the potential to be a good if not great pass rusher. He has the speed and size, and at his age it can be argued that he’s just now entering his prime. Unfortunately I’ve watched Ray Edwards too long to buy into this assessment. Ray has physical tools but nothing between the ears. He is just not a disciplined enough human being to become the player his talent indicates he could be.
The problem with guys like Ray is they will always keep tantalizing you with their raw ability. Just when you’re ready to write them off they’ll have a huge game and make you think you were too hasty. Then they’ll vanish for five straight weeks and reconfirm your negative view of their dedication level.
If the Falcons want to take a chance on this guy, believing his best years are ahead of him, by all means let them. Ray has made it clear that he’d rather continue his career outside of Minnesota, and the Vikings should do everything they can to oblige him, whether that means watching him walk as a UFA or, if necessary, trading him.