Vikings losing Ray Edwards to Atlanta

Ray Edwards (Tom Dahlin/Viking Update)

Defensive end Ray Edwards has agreed to a five-year, $30 million deal with the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons have agreed to terms with former Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards on a five-year deal that was first reported by FOXSport.com's Jay Glazer and confirmed by the Falcons.

The Falcons were long rumored to be interested in Edwards, even during the lockout, and it was clear the Vikings weren't going to re-sign him when they gave Brian Robison, Edwards' back up last year, a three-year, $14.1 million deal before the lockout in March. The Vikings also started free agency almost $5 million over the salary cap, but they don't have to be in compliance with the $120.375 million cap until Aug. 4.

According to ESPN, Edwards' deal is worth $30 million with $11 million guaranteed, a lesser deal than what Charles Johnson got to sign with the Carolina Panthers. Carolina signed Johnson to a six-year, $72 million deal with a $30 million signing bonus (guaranteed money).

After his first three years in the league, when he never had more than 25 tackles or six sacks in a season, Johnson exploded for 62 tackles and 11.5 sacks last year. Last year, Edwards had 37 tackles and eight sacks.

During the lockout, Edwards said he wouldn't play for less than his backup after Robison signed his deal. Robison's deal is for three years and has $6.5 million guaranteed. Edwards' is for five years and has $11 million guaranteed. If Robison performs over the next two years, he could be in line for a restructured deal that would eclipse Edwards' contract.


Tim Yotter is the publisher of Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.

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