Is Ray Edwards at the top of the Eagles free agency shopping list? According to a Georgia newspaper, Edwards, the Vikings free agent defensive end, is expected to sign with the Eagles.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Edwards, who appears to be unwanted in Minneapolis, is among the Eagles top priorities.
The Eagles have a glut of defensive ends who they could pencil in across from Pro Bowl end Trent Cole, but none are proven commodities. Juqua Parker, Darryl Tapp, Daniel Teo-Nesheim, Victor Abiamiri, Phillip Hunt and Ricky Sapp are all Eagles, as is injured Brandon Graham.
Edwards, unrestricted at just 26 years old, has 29 sacks in five seasons with the Vikings, including 8 in 2009 and eight last year. Hes also more of a two-way player who can stop the run better than some of the other top free agent ends notably Jason Babin.
Cole and Edwards are among only 13 NFL players with eight or more sacks in each of the last two years.
In an interview that appeared Monday on TwinCities.com, Edwards indicated that he didnt expect the Vikings to re-sign him. The Vikings signed backup defensive end Brian Robison to a long-term deal before the lockout began, and they still have all-pro Jared Allen.
The past shows they werent interested in retaining me, Edwards said. If teams call us, well take a look at their offer. Im just looking for a team that definitely wants my services and is looking to win.
I feel Im proven. Ive been a starter for four years. I played a lot as a rookie. Ive been productive. That's what counts.
Tentatively, teams will be able to start negotiating with agents representing unrestricted free agents on Tuesday, with signings allowed to begin on Friday.
Parker is the Eagles incumbent starter and has been a consistent player for several years. With 30 sacks since 2006, Parker ranks 14th in Eagles history (and just 9 out of sixth place) and actually has more sacks than Edwards since Edwards entered the NFL.
But Parker is also 33 years old, and his productivity tends to drop off the second half of the season. Last year, he had four sacks in September, then just two the rest of the year.
Cole is a two-time Pro Bowl end and has had three double-digit sack seasons only Reggie White has had more as an Eagle. But Cole has never had a real stud across from him, and the Eagles believe he would benefit greatly if another defensive end could be productive enough to draw blockers away from Cole.
The Eagles drafted Graham with the 13th pick in last years draft, and he recorded three sacks in 13 games, six of them starts. But hes out until somewhere around week six or eight after microfracture knee surgery, and nobody knows exactly how long it will take him to get back to speed or how good hell be once hes healthy.
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