The Atlanta Falcons are reliable. We can always count on them to raise our blood pressure to medically unsafe levels. We can always count on them to keep their throwback black jerseys hidden away at an unfair clip. And we can always count on them to field a frustratingly mediocre to decidedly bad pass rush corps.
Let’s take a trip back in time. The year is 2011. Slide phones are still popular, One Direction is still intact, and planking is a thing. The Falcons had just finished a spectacular 13-3 season that ended with a soul crushing loss in the divisional round to the Green Bay Packers. The defense generated 31 sacks in 2010 but John Abraham accounted for 13 of those sacks. (Jonathan Babineaux had 4 sacks and Kroy Biermann had 3 sacks; no other defender had more than 2 sacks.) The Falcons were desperate for a defensive end to pair with Abraham. Enter stage right: Ray Edwards.
Edwards joined the Falcons as a 26 year old with 29.5 sacks that offseason. His first five years as in the league, all with the Minnesota Vikings, were nothing short of impressive. As former fourth round draft picks go, he was the bee’s knees. And that’s why the Falcons handed him a five year, $30 million contract with $11 million guaranteed. But here’s where the nightmare begins.
Over the next two seasons, Edwards would play in 25 games and only sack a quarterback 3.5 times. During his second year with the Falcons in 2012, Edwards went sackless before being cut in November due to what was fairly characterized as a “poor attitude.” In short, Mike Smith asked the team to gather around him following a disappointing week 10 loss. Edwards ignored him despite repeated requests. The Falcons cut him the next day and Edwards never played another NFL snap.
Ironically Edwards made $11 million playing for the Falcons and to be fair, he had a solid NFL career. I doubt he loses much sleep thinking about his tenure with the Falcons.
What say you about this horrible free agent signing?