Atlanta Falcons: Edwards clears waivers; team on hook for rest of $3 million

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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52 comments Add your comment


November 15th, 2012
8:38 am


November 15th, 2012
8:40 am

DOL, which of the young guys is expected to step up now: Sidbury, Matthews, Massaquoi? One of them should get a shot now.


November 15th, 2012
8:51 am

Can we bring Chauncey Davis back for the remainder of the season?


November 15th, 2012
9:08 am

I think this will light a fire under a couple of guys. We need prodution now!!!!!!!!!


November 15th, 2012
9:10 am

LOL! So much for “The Missing Piece”! LOL!


November 15th, 2012
9:10 am

i remember when we signed edwards. we had a guy from minnesota get on this blog and tell us what a bum edwards was and that he would stink. at least now we can see how our younger guys can play.

Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired

November 15th, 2012
9:15 am

Too bad the Falcons can’t recover some of that money by suing Ray Edwards for impersonating a legitimate NFL defensive end and sue his agent for fraud…. :-)


November 15th, 2012
9:26 am

Sidbury needs to get the first shot behind Biermann. According to Atlanta Falcons dot com stats in 85 total snaps last year Sidbury got (4) sacks (more than Edwards in his entire playing time here) and a total of 12 QB affects (sacks, hurries, or touches). That’s a rate of 14%. Biermann in contrast has gotten a total of 20 QB affects in 218 snaps or at a rate of 9%. The numbers tell me Sid needs to get his share of snaps. Then Matthews. We probably won’t see much of Massaquoi until 2013.


November 15th, 2012
9:26 am

Humans aren’t as predictable as machines. Managing them is a tough business. I don’t blame the Falcons at all for taking an educated risk on a any player. I do applaud them for being responsible and demanding performance, providing the opportunity for success and cutting anyone who fails to be accountable for their responsibility. If they continue to do that, they will be winners. The only losers are those who continue to pay for non-performance. Taking an educated risk succeeds more than it fails. Some fans expect perfection but when dealing with humans, that just doesn’t happen. GO FALCONS! YOU ARE RISING UP!


November 15th, 2012
9:32 am

@ Mikey – agreed. Edwards although a bust in hindsight was everyone’s next best player available after Johnson when everything went down. He had like an average of 6.75 sacks per year over the prior 4 years when we signed him. They took an acceptable risk for the money on a player with a solid track record up to that point. Evidently the Williams brothers and Jared made him look better than he was but when they realized it they cut bait. They are doing what’s necessary to make the team better immediately and that’s a positive sign.

Willie Coyote

November 15th, 2012
9:36 am

This is your chance Sidbury! Time to step up and win the job.

Keepin' It Real

November 15th, 2012
9:43 am

If I still have to pay you $3M, you are not getting cut. Only in America will we pay someone to leave (sports, celebrities) yet have issue with paying forks to work (you, me). IJS


November 15th, 2012
9:45 am

I have to say I liked what I saw out of Matthews in preseason. His motor never stops. At this point though he’s less of a known quantity than Sidbury in my humble opinion. He’s only an inch taller than Sid and like 3 lbs heavier. He looked bigger than that during preseason to me. Like he had put on some more bulk (not in a bad way).


November 15th, 2012
9:48 am

@ Keepin’ It Real – I feel you man lol, but people do get severance packages in the real world all the time. We are also not on the hook for the entire remainder of his salary for the next THREE years. But it is what it is at this point.


November 15th, 2012
10:00 am

LOL..Very funny @ Sick & Tired Of Being Sick & Tired, It seems like we can’t find a good DE for the other side, Kroy has been playing very good ball. leave him over there, with Sidbury to back him up @ Treeofwoe, i agree

Jimmy Crack

November 15th, 2012
10:14 am

Let’s put it this way…

This coming Sunday, Edwards on-field production for the Falcons will not decrease.


November 15th, 2012
10:16 am

We havent had a great DE tandem since Abe and Kerney. Hopefully now we’ll see if we actually have our own hidden gems. Sidbury, this is a contract year for you. Go out there and show them what we’ve been thinking you can do.


November 15th, 2012
10:21 am

@ Jimmy Crack LOL nice!

Big Earl

November 15th, 2012
10:22 am

@SirReal…I don’t think Abe and Kerney were ever a tandem. Abe came to ATL when Kerney went to Seattle.


November 15th, 2012
10:29 am

Get rid of Turner and that will be one hell of an improvment !


November 15th, 2012
10:30 am

@Big Earl Yeah, they lasted a year or so together before Kerney split. Check the 2006 roster. I havent seen pure terror from our D-Line like that ever since.LOL


November 15th, 2012
11:06 am

Enter your comments here We never really saw what Predator and Kerney could be like as a tandem as they both battled injury that year and sat out multiple games. As for the present, El Sid and the Beerman looks like the way to go on that side.


November 15th, 2012
11:11 am

What is this“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.“COMON MAN.ONE GAME AT A TIME,LETS GO FALCONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[...] Atlanta Falcons: Edwards clears waivers; team on hook for rest of million FLOWERY BRANCH — Ray Edwards, who was released by the Falcons on Tuesday, cleared waivers, according to the league. Also, tight finish Brody Eldridge (Chicago), defensive back Duke Ihenacho (Denver), linebacker Aaron Maybin (New York Jets) & … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]


November 15th, 2012
11:35 am

Last year coach Smith gave him- Edwards a pass with his knee injury, this year the proof is in the pudding….

Singing Toilet Water

November 15th, 2012
12:00 pm

If Ray Edwards was a decent person, he would donate his remaining pay to charities.


November 15th, 2012
12:04 pm

Couldnot,cannot have another Jamal Anderson situation.On top of gaining an injured product from the begining.But when this deal went down, after missing the deal with Johnson(Carolina DE).Trying to make lemonade from lemons,straight gambling.Obviously the project didn’t work.I appreciate the Falcons FO understanding when to realize when to get out.I not only like Sidbury.But in the transition to the 4-3.Maybe Massaquoi is the better fill in,or has shown he can pick up the slack.Also,during preseason I recall a young man named Ngwezu who looked promising.Don’t know if the Falcons would have done this under pevious DC. But Nolan is making his imprint moving toward an solid defense.
Go Falcons


November 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

@ Tree- I liked what Matthews displayed in preseason too. The only knock against him is that he’s a rookie…Sidbury has a couple of seasons under his belt, plus he has those LONG frickin arms, that can get within reach of the QB.


November 15th, 2012
12:16 pm

I have said plenty of times. Pass rushers are hard to find. Please don’t begin calling for us to draft a DE they rarely come that way. They must be developed or it be God given. Use picks on more solid positions. With Mike Nolan pass rush can be generated from other areas. We need another snot knocking/able to cover LB. That is our most pressing need to me. I say go get the best OLineman or two you can find in Free agency. Someone already established.

[...] Mike Smith spoke with the Atlanta Journal Constitution in regards to the [...]


November 15th, 2012
12:24 pm

Edwards averaged 1 sack per half a season…wow. We will have an extra million to spend next year. The rest of his contract as I understand it will still count against the cap. But I like the message…if ya don’t perform, ya don’t stay

the one who rises up.....everyday

November 15th, 2012
12:30 pm

Ray Edwards was a small shock to me, i would have had him play backup for biermann. I dont believe this will have any major impact on us even with Edwards absence. That Super Bowl is still in the palms of our hands. #rise #up

Gwinnett Fred

November 15th, 2012
12:43 pm

Edwards is the poster boy as to why NFL players don’t (and shouldn’t) get their entire contracts guaranteed like MLB players do.

I also agree with Keepin’ it Real – Should have put his butt on the practice squad and let the offensive lineman sharpen their run/cut blocking skills on him!

Gwinnett Fred

November 15th, 2012
12:45 pm

Forgot to ask, is Edwards somehow related to Jamaal Anderson? On paper, they are identical twins, both are missing the gene that determines how much heart you play with!


November 15th, 2012
1:07 pm

The first red flag was Edwards taking sexting self made images modeling nipple ring…still as a Viking…last April. See below:

What on earth was Thomas thinking with?

[...] as much a 64 percent of the defensive snaps and as low as 16 percent in games this season.” Click here for full article Share on Facebook [...]


November 15th, 2012
1:37 pm

When does Turner clear waivers? His pitiful attempts are painfully laughable. I’m tired of watching him do absolutely nothing.

Michael, don’t let the door hit ya’ where the Good Lord split ya’.


November 15th, 2012
3:47 pm

Now, let Jeria Perry go.

St Simons

November 15th, 2012
4:17 pm

Now ESPN knows “WHERE YOU AT” heheh

kevin noble

November 15th, 2012
4:37 pm



November 15th, 2012
5:14 pm

every offseason the guys on NFL network say the best teams give guys those one year show contracts and i just want to know will our cap penalties be clear from davis anderson and the other two guys that where effecting our cap from this past offseason if so cutting edwards is not a big dill.

L.A. Mont

November 15th, 2012
6:19 pm

If Sidbury and Matthews were ready to play, how come we haven’t seen them on the field? That way you could say, “Yep”, they are ready. I don’t think Edwards was released because these young guys ready to perform. Not that they can’t, you would just think they would have been on the field already…in the last game…when we needed a pass rush against the Saints….hmmmm

Sounds like an in-house personality issue that was affecting the team. Cut the cancer loose before it blows up. May hear about it later in the season or after.


November 15th, 2012
10:23 pm

Our D made TE Jimmy Graham a star. He has a show coming up on the nfl network. We got one more shot at payback and a chance to close the book on the Aints. Rise up.


November 15th, 2012
10:38 pm

Good riddance to Edwards who was a non-factor getting pushed backwards all the time. Jerry needs to go too. Put Toone in punt and kickoff returns so we have a chance with his speed to outrun the coverage. Welcome back Spoon. Nicholas left Graham wide open all day.


November 15th, 2012
11:03 pm

$176,470.58 per WEEK! Wow. Can I have some?


November 15th, 2012
11:21 pm

“Edwards’ weekly checks are $176,470.58″… NO HUMAN BEING IS WORTH ANYWHERE NEAR THAT FIGURE per week regardless of what profession someone is in (whether a brain surgeon to movie star actor to athlete or whatever?) And I believe in capitalism but Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot???


November 16th, 2012
1:49 am

Thank you Falcons for cutting the DEADBEAT EDWARDS. Someone who makes that kind of money and cant play should be CUT. This gives our younger players like Sidberry more time to play..


November 16th, 2012
6:35 am

I love Cap hits coming to roost! Boy Genius and his admirers, enjoy!!!

D. Orlando Ledbetter

November 16th, 2012
11:25 am

FalconsForever — That’s just for 17 weeks, not 52.

Ray Edwards

November 16th, 2012
4:03 pm

Now I’m really mad! I resemble that remark, ALL of them. I gonna sue DOL and AJC for “Defination of Character”!