Monday, December 18, 2017

Ray Edwards

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Ray Edwards has had quite the downward spiral lately when it comes to his NFL career.  Still, Edwards has once again fallen back on his true love for boxing.

Normally I wouldn’t give a former Viking’s extracurricular activities much thought on these pages, but the video evidence of Edwards’ most recent fight is just far too great to pass up.

In the video you will see Edwards squaring off against what appears to be one of Willy Wonka’s slave laborers with self-esteem issues.  I don’t know why anyone would have bet against Edwards, or why anyone would have bet against anything other than a first round TKO, but something tells me there was some gambling involved in this little stunt.

Jeff Warner is Edwards’ boxing manager and he has quite the history on him.  Various stories have been reported over the years of Warner fixing matches.  Also, the State’s of Minnesota and Iowa have banned him from producing a fighter unless they get to pick the opponent, according to one of those stories.  He has also received plenty of flak over the years for pulling men out of homeless shelters to fight against his boxers.

This latest fight Edwards took part in took place in North Dakota.

In five seasons with the Vikings, defensive end Ray Edwards recorded 29.5 sacks, including 16.5 in his last two seasons with the club.  Following the 2010 season, the Vikings opted to use their franchise tag on linebacker Chad Greenway and let Ray Edwards walk in free agency.

The Falcons gave Edwards a five year deal worth up to $27.5 million with an $11 million guarantee, and a number of Vikings fans balked at the idea of turning over the reins to Brian Robison on a full time basis when Edwards ended up getting such a reasonable contract.

As it turns out, however, the Vikings knew what they were doing and Edwards’ contract no longer looks reasonable.

Over the last two seasons Edwards has played in 25 games and only netted 3.5 sacks for the Falcons with 42 tackles and three defended passes.  Conversely, Robison has 13 sacks and eight batted passes with 71 tackles over the course of 26 games.

Robison’s current contract is a three year deal worth $14.1 million and included a $6.5 million signing bonus.

If the numbers and salaries aren’t enough evidence that the Vikings front office deserves credit for choosing Robison over Edwards, then the breaking news from Monday night will seal the deal.

The 8-1 Atlanta Falcons have waived the 27 year old Edwards.

Edwards, who has been hampered by knee problems of late, may get claimed via the waivers process and will certainly get a shot somewhere else even if he isn’t claimed.  It will be interesting to see where he ends up and how successful he ends up being.

As many expected, the Vikings have reportedly received two fourth round compensatory Draft selections in the upcoming Draft.

The picks were awarded after the Vikings lost Sidney Rice and Ray Edwards to free agency last offseason.  They will get the 33rd and 39th selections of the fourth round.

Compensatory picks cannot be traded, so the fourth round is sure to be one of high importance for the Vikings as they search for depth and sleepers in this year’s class.

As a fisherman, I know the feeling of the ones that get away.  One is always bigger and better than the one before it.  Every time a fish spits that hook, there is always a sinking feeling as I just know that fish was going to break some size record.

Of course, that isn’t always the case.

Last year, many fans regarded defensive end Ray Edwards and wide receiver Sidney Rice as big fish that the Vikings inexplicably let get away.  Less than one year later, both moves are starting to look very sensible, even if the team didn’t perform really well in their absence.

Neither Rice nor Edwards played particularly well in their first seasons with new teams.  Now, both are facing tough injuries in the offseason.

Edwards will have knee surgery for the second straight offseason after signing a five year deal with the Falcons worth about $30 million. 

Rice has had not one but two surgeries this offseason to repair a shoulder that he injured during the season.  His five year deal with the Seahawks is reportedly worth $41 million.

Neither injury is particularly career threatening, but the Vikings may have made the wise choice of letting these two walk last offseason instead of overpaying.

In the coming weeks, we will find out just what sort of compensation picks the Vikings will receive for letting Rice and Edwards find themselves new homes in different cities.

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