Mandatory Credit: Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

BREAKING: Falcons Cut DE Ray Edwards

In a surprising move, the 8-1 Atlanta Falcons have decided to part ways with defensive end Ray Edwards, as the announcement has been made that Edwards has been cut and will hit waivers. The move comes as a bit of a surprise as Edwards was one of Atlanta’s most coveted free agent signings following the 2011 NFL Lockout.

Starting his career with the Minnesota Vikings, Edwards made a name for himself on that incredible defensive line for Minnesota back in 2009. But he was blasted by the Minnesota sports community for being self-involved, difficult to deal with and just generally being an unlikeable guy. Minnesota elected not to bring him back at the high salary he wanted, and Edwards proceeded to damn the Vikings for not appreciating him.

So it was off to Atlanta for Edwards where he got that massive deal he wanted, as in the free agent frenzy post the lockout, Edwards reeled in a 5-year/$27.5 million salary.

But the problems started right away for Edwards, who was dealing with chronic knees problems all throughout the 2011 season. He started every game last year for the Falcons but he only registered 3.5 sacks, leading some to believe he wasn’t really the big factor in Minnesota that Edwards made himself out to be, but was rather riding the wave of success Jared Allen brought to that line.

This year Edwards has only started four games for the Falcons and has been a complete ghost on the defense, not racking up a single sack in any of the eight games he’s played in.

Edwards will hit the waiver wire since the trade deadline has passed, but if no team claims him or his prorated $3 million salary, he will become a free agent. This is how bad the Falcons wanted to rid themselves of Edwards, if no one claims him, the Falcons must pay Edwards the remaining balance of his salary as severance.

There are teams that could use the old Ray Edwards, but clearly he’s a shell of the guy h was for a stretch in 2009 for the Vikings.

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Tags: Atlanta Falcons NFL