Ray Edwards has finally gotten his wish. He’s a former Minnesota Viking. For the next five years, barring unforeseen circumstances, he will be an Atlanta Falcon. Financial terms of Ray’s new deal are not yet available but I’m guessing he got a lot less than Charles Johnson got from the Panthers. That’s just a guess.
And what kind of player did the Falcons just buy with whatever amount of money they spent on Ray? They bought themselves a potentially dominating pass rusher who, at least during the course of his career so far, has mostly not lived up to that potential. They also bought themselves an occasional headache who is not shy about ripping the front office, screaming at rookies on the sidelines, threatening to quit football in favor of boxing as a leverage ploy and telling the world openly that he hates Roger Goodell.
And like a certain other former Viking, he enjoys sending sexy text messages.
In the end I assume Falcons fans will wind up as frustrated with Ray as Viking fans were in the end. That frustration came not only from Ray’s occasional silly antics and disruptive behavior but also from our recognition that he never became the player his talent indicated he could be. I honestly think Edwards could be a Pro Bowler if he fully applied himself but he just doesn’t have the head and heart to fulfill that promise. He’s at best a solid defensive end, a fierce pass rusher when he’s into the game and only mediocre against the run. And there’s the baggage.
Update: Edwards’ deal will pay him $30 million over 5 years, with $11 million guaranteed. That’s more per-year than Brian Robison got from the Vikings to take over for Ray as the starting left end. This should make him happy.