The Falcons wanted both insurance at the defensive end position and partner for John Abraham in free agency. Now they have both, and at a reasonable price.
Edwards will team up with Abraham in Atlanta, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. He’s reportedly getting $30 million over five years, with $11 million guaranteed.
All week we’ve been blown away by the price tags attached to some of the contracts being agreed to. This one’s blowing us away, too, but for the great price the Falcons are paying for a quality pass rusher.
Despite playing in Jared Allen’s shadow in Minnesota, the 26-year-old Edwards registered 16.5 sacks in the last two seasons. He’ll make $6 million per year in Atlanta.
By comparison, Charles Johnson has just 21.5 sacks during his four-year career but is coming off a double-digit sack season. He’ll make $12.7 million per year with $32 million guaranteed in Carolina.
The Falcons were reportedly in contention for Johnson. They’re lucky they lost out.
Abraham is a good player, but he’s also 33 years old and doesn’t play every down. That’s why much of the pre-draft scuttlebutt surrounding Atlanta back in April had the Dirty Birds taking the best available end when they were on the clock at 27th overall. That strategy was promptly discarded when GM Thomas Dimitroff saw an opportunity to ship four picks to Cleveland (including the Falcons’ first-round pick next year) to land Julio Jones at No. 6.
But the hole remained opposite Abraham, who accounted for 42 percent of the team’s 31 sacks in 2010. In fact, no other Falcon was able to hit the five-sack mark last season.
That’ll change this year.
GLS MOVE RATING: 9.5/10