Is Ray Edwards Worth It for the Vikings?


Much attention has been given to the reports that Vikings starting left end Ray Edwards will not be signing his RFA tender until the last second, and thus will be skipping a number of offseason activities including the mandatory minicamp.

It is fully his right to skip these events hardly anybody blames him.  As everybody knows, fourth and fifth year players (such as Edwards) are getting a bum deal during this whole uncapped year thing.

I haven’t weighed in on the topic too much, and frankly, it is because I don’t see it as a real big deal.

Some people blame Edwards.  Some people blame the Vikings.  Some people blame the NFL and the Player’s Union.

What do I think?  I think Edwards isn’t worth the hype simply because he hasn’t proven much to me.

Edwards played decently his rookie season, primarily as a backup.  However, for four games in 2007 he was suspended for violating the NFL’s Steroid Policy, embarrassing himself and the team.

In 2008, he continued his loud-mouthed ways by predicting that the addition of Jared Allen would result in him easily beating the single-season sack record.  He got five, which landed him just a tad shy of the record.

Despite the advantage of lining up next to three Pro Bowl defensive linemen, Edwards still didn’t come close to any record breaking numbers in 2009.  His “breakout” performance included 8.5 sacks, which was a personal best for him.


Here is a look at his career stats from NFL.com:

Season
Team
Tackles
Interceptions
Fumbles
G
GS
Comb
Total
Ast
Sck
SFTY
PDef
Int
Yds
Avg
Lng
TDs
FF
2009
Minnesota Vikings
16
16
51
43
8
8.5
2
0.0
1
2008
Minnesota Vikings
15
15
54
35
19
5.0
3
0.0
1
2007
Minnesota Vikings
12
11
30
26
4
5.0
0
2
0.0
4
2006
Minnesota Vikings
15
2
10
7
3
3.0
2
0.0
0
TOTAL
145
111
34
21.5
0
9
0
0
0
0
6

Cliff Avril.  Is that a name that you think should garner the type of publicity that Edwards has recently?  Probably not.  However, let us take a look at the relatively unknown third-year player’s production while playing next to one of the worst defensive lines in football:

Season
Team
Tackles
Interceptions
Fumbles
G
GS
Comb
Total
Ast
Sck
SFTY
PDef
Int
Yds
Avg
Lng
TDs
FF
2009
Detroit Lions
13
11
41
27
14
5.5
3
0.0
3
2008
Detroit Lions
15
4
23
18
5
5.0
0
0.0
4
TOTAL
64
45
19
10.5
0
3
0
0
0
0
7

Now, while I show you this comparison to illustrate why I firmly believe Ray Edwards has not produced anything special in his time with the Vikings, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out his postseason successes.

In two postseason contests, Edwards has managed eight tackles, four sacks, and two forced fumbles.

However, I firmly believe that a player that has yet to get double digit sacks, constantly runs his mouth, has been suspended, and whose productions rivals that of a relatively unknown Lion is by no means someone that will make or break your team.

If Edwards was indeed a defensive end with great value, then the Vikings probably would have at least given him a long term offer of some sort… which they didn’t.

Meanwhile, Edwards will be skipping activities and allowing the competition (Brian Robison and Everson Griffen) the chance to see extended time with the first team and perhaps even push him for playing time.  If one or both of these guys ends up taking regular season snaps away from Edwards, then he may have just inadvertently kept himself from ever signing that giant contract that he has “put his life on the line” to earn.

My point here isn’t to belittle any of Edwards accomplishments, or to rehash some negativities of the past, but rather to let you all know that this is a slow time of year and not to worry too much about how this thing is going to play out.

The Vikings will not trade Edwards.  Edwards will sign his tender after the mandatory minicamp (June 14th).  Edwards will play for the 2010 Vikings.  And Edwards will probably get his wish and be a free agent in 2011 because the Vikings do not consider him much more valuable than the compensatory pick they would get in return.

Only Edwards has the ability to change how all this goes down.  And that can be changed by him having a lights out year with the Vikings in 2010, which can only result in everybody ending up happy.

So stop fretting so much about Edwards!

UP NEXT:  Why aren’t people fretting about Brett Favre!?!  (just kidding)


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One Response to “Is Ray Edwards Worth It for the Vikings?”

  1. Luft Krigare says:

    Thank you Adam for bringing some sanity into this picture. Ray Edwards, though having a very good postseason last year, is little more than a slightly above average defensive end. I do not doubt that if Brian Robison got the start, he too would amass 8+ sacks. I would like to see what Karl Dunbar does with this Everson kid as well.

    You are 100% correct in saying that it is all up to Ray Edwards this season, and playing lights out will make us all happy.