FLOWERY BRANCH — Ray Edwards, who was released by the Falcons on Tuesday, cleared waivers, according to the league.
Also, tight end Brody Eldridge (Chicago), defensive back Duke Ihenacho (Denver), linebacker Aaron Maybin (New York Jets) and guard Julian Vandervelde (Philadelphia) also cleared waivers.
Edwards’ weekly checks are $176,470.58. The Falcons get paid on Wednesday and he has six more of those coming. He can make more cash this season if he signs with another team.
The Falcons still owe him $1.058,823.53 this season.
Edwards is now an unrestricted free agent and the Falcons must pay the remaining part of this $3 million salary for this season.
“It was a decision that we made that we felt like was going to make our football team better today and in the future,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “That’s what you have to do when you make decisions. You’ve got to make decisions for your football team.”
Edwards, who was signed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract, played 25 games for the Falcons and had 3.5 sacks. Smith no longer fit the teams defense with morphs from a 4-3 to a 3-4 and vice versa during games and uses a heavy dose of nickel packages.
His playing time fluctuated wildly. He played as much a 64 percent of the defensive snaps and as low as 16 percent in games this season.
“I don’t want to get into sending messages and what not,” Smith said. “We evaluate every day. We evaluate after every game from top to bottom. We talk about it all the time and it starts with me. Again, it was a decision we made, and we felt like it makes our team better today and it will make our team better in the future.”
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