DE Ray Edwards is an Atlanta Falcon

Deal’s Finally Done

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)

Welcome to Atlanta, Ray! (AP)

Yes, it finally happened. After less than a week ago, the Falcons reportedly dropped out of the Ray Edwards sweepstakes due to reportedly asking too high of a price. Falcons fans started seeing defensive end after defensive end snatched off the market including Charles Johnson, Jason Babin, and several others.

A Quick Change

After believing that the Falcons had given up on defensive end pursuit, the front office followed up re-signing Tyson Clabo with the release of former first round picks Jamaal Anderson and Michael Jenkins, freeing up over $7 million dollars. Many believed that something was afoot after the sudden change.  If they had planned to use that money to keep guys like Jason Snelling and Justin Blalock, than their release surely would’ve come much sooner. Reports that teams interested in Ray Edwards had dropped down to the Falcons, Browns, and Titans. If Edwards wanted to go to an immediate contender, the Falcons looked more and more that they would get back in the derby.

According to Jay Glazer on Twitter via Rotoworld.com, here’s the breakdown:

Falcons agreed to terms with DE Ray Edwards on a five-year, $30 million contract.

It’s a huge get for the Falcons. Edwards’ 16.5 sacks over the past two seasons in Minnesota are impressive, even if most of them came against single blocks. He forms a dominant bookend on the left side with right end John Abraham, one of the best sack-artists in the league. Still just 26, Edwards has major upside left as a disruptor of passing attacks. His market was slow to develop mostly because of character concerns. Atlanta can now trot out a three-defensive end rotation of Abraham, Edwards, and the highly underrated Kroy Biermann.

A Homerun

Plenty of critics will be coming out in force to say that the Falcons only just signed a mediocre defensive end who was just the benefit of playing next to three previous Pro Bowlers. While his sacks weren’t eye-popping, they were insanely consistent the last two years and outproduced the entire rest of the Falcons defensive line not named John Abraham. Edwards becomes the new franchise defensive end and will be ready to step right in for John Abraham if he decides to either retire or go somewhere else after becoming a free agent.

The Falcons just did what every media talking head said they would do, and Dimitroff did it for HALF the cost of what the Carolina Panthers insanely paid Charles Johnson to stay in Charlotte. At 6 million a year, not only is this a bargain, but Dimitroff actually gained a net plus in salary cap room by cutting Anderson and Jenkins while adding Ray Edwards.

Guess we keep forgetting why Thomas Dimitroff is one of the best general managers in the NFL. There’s a reason he was named NFL Executive of the Year two out of the last three years.

Your Thoughts

  1. What’s your gut reaction to the Edwards signing?
  2. How will the Falcons defense be compared to last year?
  3. What kind of role will Biermann now play?
  4. Are you happy with the cost of the contract?
  5. Any downside to this move?

460 comments Add your comment

Knew Money

July 29th, 2011
2:10 pm

D3,

What’s Up. It’s a good day to be a Falcons Fan.

Knew Money

July 29th, 2011
2:11 pm

Forgot to mentioned.

FIRST!!!!!

know money

July 29th, 2011
2:15 pm

Well done! Nice rotation setting up on the line, now we need to get a NCB, and sign Blalck (or Dahl), Snelling after the frenzy subsides, and of course Grimes.

Blangadanger

July 29th, 2011
2:16 pm

1. Bliss. I am so happy the Falcons went out and signed a great, young DE with room for improvement.
2. I think it will be better. Edwards will allow Abraham some much needed rest in between snaps, and the opposing teams will feel more pressure to block both sides of the line.
3. Biermann, Edwards, and Abraham will form a rotation of strong DEs. I think it’s understood now that Biermann and Edwards are the future of the defensive front.
4. Happy? Very happy. I was worried we would have to sacrifice in our OL to pay for our DL, but Edwards obviously wanted to play for a contender rather than take the highest dollar. Hopefully he’ll be happy with his decision.
5. Well, we did lose Jenkins. While he was obviously a bit overpaid for his true value, we now have to rely on Harry Douglas and incoming Julio Jones to step up and be a viable threat on the opposite side of Roddy. It is a risk, but I’d rather see our defense improve than our offense stand pat.

RP

July 29th, 2011
2:18 pm

Not as exciting as Johnson would have been, but this is a good deal and an definite upgrade from Biermann.

CBrass

July 29th, 2011
2:18 pm

Even though Biermann’s play slipped some last season I think he will still play a big role at DE. Remember Smitty likes to rest Abe so Bier will still get his chances. He just have to take advantage. Also I think playing ST takes a toll on him during the latter part of the season.

Big Ray

July 29th, 2011
2:19 pm

know money, now no money

July 29th, 2011
2:20 pm

Next year, if Abe leaves, we are lining up nicely. I will be interested to see if JA signs at a lower price to compete with Sid and Davis as a rotational spot player, he could win that battle and replace Chauncy’s high pay (save more bucks).

I would look for Jenks to fall into the Rams lap perhaps.

CBrass

July 29th, 2011
2:30 pm

Both Peters and Edwards wear 91. I guess Peters will be giving up the number?

Rikus

July 29th, 2011
2:35 pm

Sooooo ecstatic!! Now I just hope we can focus on continuing to resign our own guys. Snelling top priority (though tough to keep him from leaving). Keeping (either) one of the guards would be nice.

JB FALCON

July 29th, 2011
2:50 pm

The theft of Edwards was the icing on the cake. TD rules!
Not that my wife is snoopy but she just enlightened me that her source (Grime’s better half, I think) has assured us that he will be a Falcon next year.

D3

July 29th, 2011
2:52 pm

So happy these days. I know I was dabbling in pessimism yesterday with the likes of the Saints getting Darren Sproles and Panthers trading for Greg Olsen, among other moves. I am completely ecstatic today with the news of Edwards signing. We only need a few more moves to make and we are completely set for our season.

TD’s Checklist
1) Re-sign Clabo – check

2) Re-sign Nicholas, making him a definite starter – check

3) Re-sign Peterson for leadership/backup – check

4) Sign all draft picks, including JJ – check

5) Sign an explosive defensive player for reasonable price – check

6) Create some room with eye towards the future re-signings (gained 1 million under salary cap) – check

7) Re-sign K Matt Bryant – check

8) Let P Koenen walk and get paid insanely elsewhere – check

9) Don’t overpay for defensive help (Ray Edwards – 6 mill, Charles Johnson – 12 mill) – check

10) Sign some potential gems in UDFA (Walls, Wynterswyck, RB Sylvester, OL Murphy) – check

11) Re-sign Jason Snelling – TBD

12) Lock up Brent Grimes and Eric Weems – coming soon.

Man, Thomas Dimitroff is THE MAN!

Last night I was saying I could stomach 8 mill a year for Ray Edwards, but 6 mill? Dang!

D3

July 29th, 2011
2:54 pm

Forgot one………..

13) Sign an excellent nickel back like Paul Oliver – TBD

JB FALCON

July 29th, 2011
3:02 pm

We got an A+ from Walter Football!

Falcons sign DE Ray Edwards (5 years, $30 million): A+ Grade
Wow. So, Charles Johnson gets a 6-year, $76 million deal, while Ray Edwards was available for just $30 million over five years? Unlike Johnson, Edwards is not a one-year wonder. There’s been speculation about whether or not he could be effective away from Jared Allen – I think he’s underrated because of that – but it won’t be an issue in Atlanta because he won’t be the only potent pass-rusher; Edwards will resume his left end role across from John Abraham.

Paddy O

July 29th, 2011
3:09 pm

JB – this appears to be the magic of TD – it also provides us MORE room under the cap – Edwards at 6 million seems to me to be a steal. Now, how about a CB?

Paddy O

July 29th, 2011
3:11 pm

Now Biermann can spell ABE, and we develop Sidbury and Mathews (although Sid should be close to being ready for prime time).

Paddy O

July 29th, 2011
3:12 pm

I’d also say, even if Peria Jerry does ‘nt become a force, Peters should show continued improvement – and I always like Walker. Lets hope we run up the score in preseason!

D3

July 29th, 2011
3:13 pm

Last one for a little while, but something to munch on……..

LDE – Ray Edwards, Chauncey Davis, Lawrence Sidbury (or Cliff Matthews)
DT – Jonathan Babineaux, Trey Lewis, Vance Walker
DT – Peria Jerry, Corey Peters
RDE – John Abraham, Kroy Biermann
SLB – Stephen Nicholas, Coy Wire
MLB – Curtis Lofton, Akeem Dent
WLB – Sean Weatherspoon, Mike Peterson
CB – Dunta Robinson, Chris Owens
Nickel – Paul Oliver? (or Darrin Walls)
CB – Brent Grimes, Dominique Franks
SS – William Moore, Rafael Bush (or FA)
FS – Thomas DeCoud, Shann Schillinger

Now that gives me something to be really happy about right there!

know money, now no money

July 29th, 2011
3:13 pm

Rams agreed to terms with RG Harvey Dahl, formerly of the Falcons.
Dahl was a right guard in Atlanta, and will stay there in St. Louis. Though he’s 30 years old, linemen tend to last longer than other positions, and he didn’t become a starter until age 27. Pro Football Focus graded Dahl as the sixth best guard in football last season. He’s known more as a nasty, mauling run blocker, but PFF had Dahl in the top seven in pass protection, as well. It’s good news for Steven Jackson and Sam Bradford.
http://www.rotoworld.com/sports/nfl/football

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Jay

July 29th, 2011
3:24 pm

Our secondary is still suspect….Can we get a showdown corner? Have we not learned from the green bay game.

Jay

July 29th, 2011
3:26 pm

The falcons defense need a better secondary..Maybe they will prove me wrong this year. Go falcons!!!

LRD

July 29th, 2011
3:36 pm

Our D.. age.. young..dynastic? Sorry, the excitement is getting to me… But can this be the turning point where we are no longer bend and dont break? Where we no longer rely on our O to be our best part of our defense?

Edwards on the edge, allowing Babs and Peters to penetrate deeper into the backfield….

One thing, and no knock on Abe.. but curious how Edwards would be towards mentoring and helping to further develop Beertruck?

Wabe

July 29th, 2011
3:37 pm

The deal is mighty legit. No way was I expecting to get him at the price we wound up with him for. 6 mil a year?

S T E A L

Also, real quick point, to those pointing out Charles Johnson, I personally would’ve loved to have Johnson, but not at that price. Also, as far as a ‘perfect fit’ goes, Ray Edwards fits the bill when it comes to what the Falcons look for in a DE. A legitimate speed-rusher to come off the opposite end of John Abraham.

I don’t think TD would’ve pulled any kinda deal had he not been confident in getting Grimes back. Truthfully, that’s my #1 priority now.

I wanna see us lock up Grimey, Snelling, and Blalock.

If we can manage to do those three and possibly get a proven nickel-back, man, talk about an offseason…

JB FALCON

July 29th, 2011
3:37 pm

Well, Dahl’s is gone. I can live with that. Snelling may be next, that might force us to make another move.

uga_b

July 29th, 2011
3:41 pm

I like the price probably more than the signing.

know money, now no money

July 29th, 2011
3:46 pm

Edwards had no other comparable options. The browns wee a smoke screen, TD guessed right, and made the deal.

“Ray Edwards’ agent Doug Hendrickson: “Cleveland never reached out to us on Ray or ever returned our calls.” (Edwards signed with Falcons).”

http://www.dawgsbynature.com/2011/7/29/2303606/de-ray-edwards-signs-with-atlanta-falcons-browns-were-never-interested

Wabe

July 29th, 2011
3:48 pm

lmao if you read the comments on ESPN.com…

they all pretty much go something like this: “wow i can’t believe they got him for so cheap…”

lovin’ this.

Jake

July 29th, 2011
3:56 pm

NFL exec of the year contest is over. TD wins yet again!

waynester

July 29th, 2011
3:58 pm

Sweet manouvering by Dimitroff. Help force a divisional opponent to spend more than they wanted to on a DE, while setting up a smokescreen on Edwards to get him for CHEEP! Hate to lose Dahl, but we’ve been spending draft picks on young OLinemen for a reason. Like many on the board, I’m feeling a sense of relief that we DID Something more than I’m hopeful that Edwards is the future at RDE….

Hamad Meander

July 29th, 2011
4:01 pm

The pieces are in place – let’s go win a Superbowl boys!

Paddy O

July 29th, 2011
4:03 pm

Can Franks play Nickel?

JB FALCON

July 29th, 2011
4:11 pm

I keep hearing that Snelling is also going to the Rams but can’t confirm it. Anyone?

jae008

July 29th, 2011
4:29 pm

I’m starting to love this pickup Ray Edwards “Edwards goin waterboy”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HT4ZsFdXdxw

JB FALCON

July 29th, 2011
4:30 pm

Caught this from a talking head on NFL.com
“Here’s my off-the-cuff prediction of the day: Osi Umenyiora winds up in Atlanta after the Giants cut him.”

David

July 29th, 2011
4:30 pm

this SUCKS , I wish they made a good trade like going after brett favre, I think the falcons are going to change there name to ATLANTA WHITE HORN SUCKLES….my friend told me last night .

Paddy O

July 29th, 2011
4:58 pm

david must be a bleed over from Dled’s blog.

falcon21

July 29th, 2011
5:05 pm

TD gave us an attitude adjustment. The Cage sounds a lot different today.

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

waynester

July 29th, 2011
5:09 pm

It addresses a definite need and immediately makes the rotation better….

Big Ray

July 29th, 2011
5:41 pm

Paddy O ,

Yep. Definitely a bleed over…

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Big Ray

July 29th, 2011
5:42 pm

Love the “size” of the contract.

So Dahl is going to the Rams, eh? We should get a decent compensatory pick for that next year, right? In the meantime, the age of Valdez or Johnson has come.

Liked Dahl a lot and wish him well. He was a heck of a player for us.

Now what’s the deal with Snelling, I wonder?

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

[...] Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Ken Strickland

July 29th, 2011
5:56 pm

With DE REdwards on board, I don’t see us signing a nickel CB. Smitty will let CB’s COwens and DFranks battle for the position, and it makes sense. With the way our CB’s played last yr without the benefit of a consistent pass rush, it’s going to be downright exciting to watch them make plays now that our pass rush will be much improved.

In certain passing situations, I can see us replacing MLB CLofton with DE KBiermann. Our DE’s would be Biermann and Edwards with JAbraham being used as a rushing LB, like he often did so successfully the yr he got those 16.5 sacks. HDahl signing with the Rams tells me he had already been informed that we weren’t considering resigning him.

It looks like JBlalock was the target all along, and we have yet to hear a single rumor about him going elsewhere. Nor have we heard anything about Probowl CB BGrimes going elsewhere. Once we resign CB BGrimes and OG JBlalock, we’ll be ready to rumble big time. It would be nice if we could resign RB JSnelling, but it’s not a major priority.

The AINTS signed Sproales, but lost RBush. I don’t see that as any kind of improvement. With an NFL leading 28 FA’s, they’re doing things to try and keep from getting worse, not better.

ryan

July 29th, 2011
6:05 pm

Report: Jets out of Aso sweepstakes cowboys signed Marcus Spears leaves them less money there have been rumors all day that Aso may become a Falcon .

D3

July 29th, 2011
6:07 pm

Sad to see Dahl go, but we knew we couldn’t keep all three. Same goes for Jenkins and Anderson, but winning in the NFL is not about keeping good guys and friends. Sometimes, it’s “just business” as the cliche goes.

Sure hope we keep Snelling and Blalock. We definitely should have the money.

Snelling going to the Rams makes no sense. Essentially, he would be going there for a reduced role. Where Turner is not threat in the passing game, Steven Jackson is. Pair that with his comfort with the playbook and coaches and staying here makes much more sense.

Check this out. Looks like they lifted the “cone of silence” for a few seconds………

Michael Turner – RB – Falcons
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution revealed Michael Turner underwent groin surgery this offseason.
We can never be sure what counts for news on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Twitter feed, but this report seems to qualify. If Turner was playing through a groin injury late last season, it would go a long way toward explaining his 3.58 YPC and evident loss of burst against a soft schedule in the final five weeks. Turner has recovered from the surgery, but we’ll be monitoring him closely in training camp.
Source: D. Orlando Ledbetter on Twitter

Wabe

July 29th, 2011
6:12 pm

I wanna see the face of every f’n Jets fan out there right now…

All these bum ESPN telecaster have been promoting the thought of the 2 best DB’s in the league playing on the same team for an entire week.

Adam Schefter went as far as to say the Jets were the favorites, with an 80% chance of landing Nnamdi.

And then in the same day, the Jets pull out?

lmao

Wabe

July 29th, 2011
6:14 pm

The Philly Eagles are the favorites to land Nnamdi?

Yikes…

Rodgers Cromartie and Nnamdi, scary.