In addition to dropping 15 pounds while pursuing a professional boxing career, then-free agent defensive end Ray Edwards underwent minor knee surgery during the lockout, D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Edwards has 29.5 career quarterback sacks, including 16.5 over the two seasons, and was signed to a five-year, $27.5 million contract, with $11 million in guarantees, to be a pass-rushing presence opposite John Abraham. The Falcons went after free agent Charles Johnson, who signed a six-year, $76 million contract extension with $36 million guaranteed to remain the Carolina Panthers.
With Johnson receiving $30 million to sign, Edwards came in at a bit of a bargain price.
The disclosure of the procedure was made by head coach Mike Smith, who has ruled Edwards out for the preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins.
"So far, he’s hasn’t done any hitting at all," Falcons defensive line coach Ray Hamilton said of Edwards. "He’s working with us during the individual period. He’s looking pretty good. He’s look lean, tough, athletic. The next step is to get him into some action."
According to a league source, Edwards' contract with the Falcons breaks down like this:
2011 Signing bonus: $4 million
2012 Option bonus: $3 million
2011: $2 million (fully guaranteed)
2012: $3 million ($2 million fully guaranteed)
2013: $5.5 million
2014: $5 million
2015: $5 million
Edwards' deal has a maximum value of $30 million, with an additional $2.5 million in base salary escalation is available for the 2015 season.