When the Atlanta Falcons released defensive tackle Jamaal Anderson and wide receiver Michael Jenkins this morning, I knew they were making room to finally bring in a play maker on defensive.
They did just that when they signed defensive end Ray Edwards.
The Atlanta Falcons and defensive end Ray Edwards have agreed to terms on a five-year deal, a team source confirmed Friday.
The agreement is worth $30 million over the five years, including $11 million guaranteed, a source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
This was the move the Falcons needed to make to improve on the defensive front.
The Falcons shocked a lot of people when they traded up in the draft to get wide receiver Julio Jones. Everyone was expecting them to go defense.
But the Falcons are in a win-now mode and needed an offensive player who can have an instant impact on offense instead waiting a few years for a rookie defensive end to grow into a playmaker.
Although the Falcons had a 13-3 record, the defense still struggled mightily. Last season, the Falcons were 22nd in passing yards allowed. Although that stat would fall on the secondary, it really starts up front. The defensive line needs to get to the quarterback to disrupt his timing in getting the ball down the field.
He had a field day with the Falcons in the NFC Divisional playoff game because the Falcons couldn’t get any pressure on him.
Edwards will be a great addition to help out the aging John Abraham as well. Edwards recorded 16.5 sacks over the past two seasons in Minnesota. That’s more than Anderson, who only recorded 3.5 sacks in his four seasons with the Falcons.
This is a huge upgrade for the Dirty Birds and definitely makes them immediate Super Bowl contenders.