Falcons agree to 5-year deal with DE Ray Edwards

FLOWERY BRANCH – The Falcons hope there is a new “Big Play Ray” in town.

Minnesota Vikings defensive end "Big Play" Ray Edwards has agreed to a five-year deal with the Falcons. Air Blank One is leaving at 6:01 p.m. to scoop him up and retun him to Flowery Branch. (Associated Press)

Minnesota Vikings defensive end "Big Play" Ray Edwards has agreed to a five-year deal with the Falcons. Air Blank One is leaving at 6:01 p.m. to scoop him up and retun him to Flowery Branch. (Associated Press)

Defensive end  Ray Edwards agreed to terms on a five-year contract with the Atlanta Falcons on Friday. The original “Big Play Ray” is former defensive back Ray Buchanan, who played with the Falcons from  1997 to 2003, and was on the franchise’s only Super Bowl team.

One of the team’s glaring deficiencies has been the pass rush. They are hoping that Edwards will help close the gap on the Green Bay Packers in the NFC. They hope he will balance the field and provide a  pass rush opposite of Pro Bowl defensive end John Abraham.    

On a day when the team released defensive end/tackle Jamaal Anderson, the Falcons reached a deal with Edwards. The former Purdue standout has 29 sacks in five seasons. He had eight sacks last season and 8.5 in 2009.

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,  the former Georgia standout from Hawkinsville.

Entering free agency, Mel Kiper Jr. had Johnson as the top-rated defensive end available and Edwards was rated second.

“Finished second on the Vikings with eight sacks, teaming with Jared Allen to form one of the top pass rushing tandem at DE in the league,” Kiper wrote in his 2011 Free Agency Data Sheet. “But it was an uneven year for Edwards as he managed just 1.5 sacks in their first seven games.”

Kroy Biermann started at left defensive end last season and had three sacks. The Falcons also have Chauncey Davis, Lawrence Sidbury, Cliff Matthews and Emmanuel Stephens on the roster.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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425 comments Add your comment

J-man

July 29th, 2011
1:27 pm

1st – Great news

Ernest

July 29th, 2011
1:28 pm

Great news! Now let’s shore up the offensive line….

Sam

July 29th, 2011
1:29 pm

J-man

July 29th, 2011
1:29 pm

As a season ticket holder. I can’t wait!! Hat’s of to the Falcon Brass!!!

Larry

July 29th, 2011
1:29 pm

Good…now get ASO!

Sam

July 29th, 2011
1:29 pm

Whats our cap room looking like now?

Jack

July 29th, 2011
1:29 pm

Awesome. I knew something was up when they released Jenkins and Anderson.

Ben

July 29th, 2011
1:30 pm

I feel like Rays contract will just take place of Jammals

@DanWeiner

July 29th, 2011
1:30 pm

Edwards had 8 sacks last year. Defensive Ends not named John Abraham combined for 6. Great pickup.

Falcon Fanatic

July 29th, 2011
1:31 pm

Nice…hope we didnt break the bank

Man -O-Man

July 29th, 2011
1:32 pm

If Falons had only waited 10 more years Jamal Anderson would have eventially reach 29 sacks.Ok maybe not 29 but I know 7 was in the bag.

akintu

July 29th, 2011
1:32 pm

They saying 5 yrs $30 mil, $11 guaranteed…still got room to get some more pieces I love it!!

K26dp

July 29th, 2011
1:33 pm

Edwards, Clabo, and Julio Jones all signed! Great news. Now lets get Grimes and Blaylock back in the fold and get to playing football.

smyrnabob

July 29th, 2011
1:33 pm

shanky

July 29th, 2011
1:34 pm

Dude – you need to learn how to spell. Camp? Release?

Seriously?

DHD

July 29th, 2011
1:35 pm

Nice….we’re getting close!!

Keith

July 29th, 2011
1:35 pm

Awsome!! SB here we come

Don Green

July 29th, 2011
1:35 pm

Can they afford Grimes, Blaylock, and Dahl ? Heard Dahl is close to signing with the Rams.

Falcons 4 life

July 29th, 2011
1:35 pm

Dimitroff really may be a genius……….

Brown

July 29th, 2011
1:35 pm

Wow, we got him… that’s great. And I hear that it was only for 5 yr, $30.5 mil. That’s a real steal… now we just need to get one more of our OL back, re-sign Grimes and get more piece to our secondary. We will be a force to be reckoned with again this year…

Falcons 4 life

July 29th, 2011
1:37 pm

Falcons working on deal with Blaylock….

Dr. Warren

July 29th, 2011
1:37 pm

He’s also a boxer. No pro bowls. 4th round pick. Benefited by playing opposite Jared Allen. But he’s young and good, so we’re moving in the right direction.

suwaneefalcon

July 29th, 2011
1:37 pm

Outstanding! Great to have a GM who gets it!

rduck

July 29th, 2011
1:37 pm

yes! i was starting to doubt it would happen until i read how much cap $ they made with the release of MJ and JA. Great news. Can’t wait for opening day…

brandon

July 29th, 2011
1:38 pm

YESSSSSS!!! Welcome to ATL Ray Edwards!!!

Pauls Johnson

July 29th, 2011
1:39 pm

Great News!! Way to go TD

Rikus

July 29th, 2011
1:40 pm

Love the signing, love the contract terms. Welcome to the ATL, Ray!

rduck

July 29th, 2011
1:41 pm

now let’s get Blaylock and Grimes on board and we can start our march to the playoffs…

Rupe in DC

July 29th, 2011
1:41 pm

D-Led,
That’s great news. Does that mean it’s likely that they are now finish with external FAs and will focus now on their own remaining unsigned FAs? What the situation with Grimes?

BTW…….Happy 100th….all kinds of Purple and Gold up here this week.

Falcon Fan

July 29th, 2011
1:42 pm

Yes, now that we have a DE what does our remaining Salary Cap Space look like. We still need to sign one of our two OG’s (my heart says to keep Dahl but logic would say to keep the younger Blalock). We still need to re-sign Grimes.

But if we still have room to spare I’d love to see us maybe grab another solid CB so we could move Grimes to the Nickel Back position and truly shut down the 3-4 WR teams we have to contend with.

Let’s say Dallas does sign Asomugha, they’ll probably need to release Terrance Newman IOT make the cap space room. What kind of salary would he command???

If the Jets get Asomugha, then Cromartie is looking for a job. What could we realistically sign him for???

I LOVE Brent Grimes, but he is a MUCH better Nickel or Number 2 CB.

J.J.M.

July 29th, 2011
1:42 pm

BREAKING NEWS: dahl and snelling signs with the rams

isproab

July 29th, 2011
1:42 pm

Great deal. The contract for Edwards is not a bank breaker. Good player for a good price.

Gwinnett Fred

July 29th, 2011
1:42 pm

And to think of it – all they had to do to afford this was cut gut J.Anderson – talk about your basic no brainers. That’s like trading Anderson & $3 million to the Vikings for Edwards!!!!!!!!!!

Junkyard Dawg2011

July 29th, 2011
1:42 pm

Awesome News!! I doubt we broke the bank since we are still planning on signing Grimes and Dahl… If we do that and pick up another solid DB in free agency for cheap then we will be sitting pretty.

74Viking

July 29th, 2011
1:45 pm

Total attitude problem with Vikings. Took lots of plays off. Benefitted next to Kevin Williams, Pat Williams and Jared Allen. His back-up (Brian Robison) played more. He is a total “me” guy but who knows. Had one huge game in playoffs vs the Cowboys in 2009 playoffs. You guys are a 13 win team in your SB window so maybe he helps. Vikes did not even consider trying.

Dan

July 29th, 2011
1:45 pm

I agree Brown! We need a DB not ASO! But wondering if we have enough $ for Carlos Rogers and Grimes

Chris

July 29th, 2011
1:46 pm

im really excited! the falcons were slow to get going in free agency but now we have clabo julio and edwards. All we need is grimes and dahl and snelling and we should be good!!! Good job dimitroff

coachx

July 29th, 2011
1:46 pm

TD has delivered with Clabo and Edwards for contracts lower then anyone was speculating. Enough cap room left to keep Grimes and Blalock. I hate to see Snelling go but RBs are not like DEs. There will be tons of good RBs left when the dust settles for bargains and TD knows this.

You still da’ man TD !

jgeezy29

July 29th, 2011
1:46 pm

We will see but the bucs are the team this year

CONservative Johnson

July 29th, 2011
1:47 pm

Sounds like we are spending money wisely, I was shocked that Clabo didn’t get more . . .

Steve-O

July 29th, 2011
1:47 pm

Considering what Carolina paid to keep Charles Johnson, this deal looks great on paper and on the field. But then again, some jackwagon will get on here and lament that we didn’t sign someone else.

PMC

July 29th, 2011
1:47 pm

He’s only got to be solid and contributing to upgrade that position quite a bit. This helps our rotation. Now Biermann can be in a role he’s better suited for.

Love this move. Love this move for John Abraham.

Falcon Fanatic

July 29th, 2011
1:48 pm

$30MM 5 year deal?? Well done TD!!

McNasty

July 29th, 2011
1:48 pm

Wow! TD is really something. I bet there will be another big surprise signing before 9/11.

Steve-O

July 29th, 2011
1:48 pm

jgeezy29

July 29th, 2011
1:46 pm
We will see but the bucs are the team this year

HOMER, nothing else to say about this…

coachx

July 29th, 2011
1:48 pm

Reports are Dahl and Snelling are signing with the Rams.

I think Grime and Blalock are the keepers. Blalock is 5 years younger then Dahl.

M. Johnson, Reynolds, and Valdez will battle it out in camp for who gets the starting RG spot. It should be a fierce competition.

That is my projection.

Seattle Falcons Fan

July 29th, 2011
1:49 pm

So what about a second rb now that snelling is gone?

Old Flatulent Dawg

July 29th, 2011
1:49 pm

Great move Dimtroff……now, if only the Braves GM had clue…………

D. Orlando Ledbetter

July 29th, 2011
1:49 pm

Looks like Blalock is up next for the Falcons. Any other External FAs would have to late training camp causalties. The Blank Bank is close after Blalock gets through the door.

Yeah Right

July 29th, 2011
1:50 pm

Good deal. Wish we could keep Dahl….