The Falcons Sign Ray Edwards! Plus A Free Agency Recap Thus Far

PITTSBURGH - FILE: Ray Edwards #91 of the Minnesota Vikings looks on from the side line during the NFL game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on October 25, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to reports on July 29, 2011 Edwards and the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a five-year deal. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

 

Everyone’s been waiting for the Falcons to make some real noise in free agency. Today, Thomas Dimitroff broke out his subwoofer.

Ray Edwards is on board for a ridiculously cheap $30 million over five years, with only a little over a third of that guaranteed. Bringing a relentless pass rusher with 16.5 sacks over the last two seasons into the fold instantly upgrades the pass rush, giving the Falcons a potent rotation of Edwards, John Abraham and Kroy Biermann.

It’s impossible to overstate the extent to which the front office just kicked ass. Edwards may not be elite, but he’s a damn good, consistent pass rusher who is still just 26 years old. Comrade Dimitroff talked him into playing for a contender at a low price and still has the salary cap space to lock up another offensive lineman and a couple of key reserves. The man is a signing sorcerer.

And Edwards? He's the automatic favorite to start outside opposite John Abraham, though Biermann will earn plenty of snaps there too. He's virtually a lock for 8+ sacks with a potentially dominant rotation of defensive tackles inside, and his awesome oddness is a good addition to this team's character. I love this signing so much, I want to marry it. 

Weigh in, and continue down. 

 

Earlier post begins below. Sorry for the dinosaur. 

Morning public service announcement out of the way, we shift gears into the state of Atlanta Falcons free agency as of Friday. Hold your applause until the end.

Over the course of the last couple of days, the Falcons have brought aboard more than 20 undrafted free agents, re-signed a couple of key players and been linked to a host of others. Likely this post will be outdated by the time it lands, but I'll keep you updated throughout the day.

For now, take a look through and see what you think. All the relevant stuff is after the jump.

Who They Have

Ray Edwards: The key defensive signing this off-season. Edwards adds toughness and pass rushing acumen outside to a team sorely in need of both. 

Tyson Clabo: The hulking right tackle was the key to the team's off-season plans, and he's firmly in the fold now.

Stephen Nicholas: All-around talented linebacker signed a very reasonable five year deal, may be starting soon.

Mike Peterson: Last year's starter may be supersub by year's end. Still a thumper and a good leader.

Matt Bryant: Bryant was brilliant and gusty in 2010, and he'll hope to duplicate that as the team's kicker in 2011.

20+ Undrafted Free Agents: A couple of guys will at least make the practice squad. Bank on it.

Who They Want

Ray Edwards: Only at a reasonable cost, though. They're also interested in Osi Umenyiora. I'd prefer the latter, honestly.

Tiki Barber: No! I'm joking!

Who They Might Lose

Harvey Dahl or Justin Blalock: They can't possibly keep both, so one will be gone by the time the free agency dust settles.

Jason Snelling: The bruising back has been heavily linked to the Rams, Broncos, and at least one other team. He'll be tough to keep.

Eric Weems: There's been zero noise about Weems, who is a UFA. The special teams ace could head elsewhere, though there likely won't be a strong market for him.

Jamaal Anderson, Michael Jenkins, Michael Koenen: Actually, they're already gone. 

Weigh in with your thoughts.

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