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Eagles Going After RFA DE Ray Edwards


Eagles to Actively Pursue Vikings Edwards
By Lance Epstein

At the start of free agency the Eagles made a strong push to acquire All Pro defensive end Julius Peppers. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the Bears grossly overpaid Peppers (gave him $40 million in guaranteed and $20 million in his first season).

The Eagles also were linked to Aaron Kampman, but did not think he was worth the money coming off an ACL tear at 30.

So it is obvious Andy Reid and GM Howie Roseman are yearning to get more consistent pressure from their front four. While the Eagles finished the season tied for third overall in team sacks with 44. Also the Eagles were one of a handful of teams to have two defensive ends finish with 8 or more sacks (Juqua Parker 8 and Trent Cole 12.5). However, most of the pressure against good teams came off of the blitz.

Minnesota demonstrated to the Eagles how to beat Dallas, which was getting pressure consistently from their front four. Defensive ends Jared Allen and Ray Edwards dominated the Cowboys offensive line.

According to The Delco Times, the Eagles are going to make a strong push to trade for Edwards. The fourth year and fourth round defensive end Edwards, 25, is a restricted free agent. Two weeks ago who the Vikings placed a first round tender at $2.51 million on Edwards. Over his four year career, he has accumulated 21.5 sacks.

The Eagles most likely would not be willing to give up the 24th overall pick for Edwards but former Eagles offensive coordinator and Vikings head coach Brad Childress could workout a some kind of package with his former mentor Reid.

One option could be McNabb for Edwards and a pick since Brett Favre might retire. Another option could be Michael Vick and a draft pick for Edwards. This still allows the Vikings to have a starting caliber quarterback if Favre retires and possibly receive a third or fourth round pick.

For the fans questioning trading for Edwards, you should look no further than his playoff performance. Edwards (6-5 270) recorded three sacks against the Cowboys and Tony Romo. In in the NFC Championship Game on Drew Brees, he registered one sack.

However, the Eagles should still proceed with caution with Edwards. First, he has played along one of the best defensive ends in football in Jared Allen. Although, Trent Cole is a just a notch below Allen, he still allows Edwards to play his natural left defensive end spot and continue to flourish.

Second, before this season his highest sack total was five and he proclaimed one season he was going to set the all-time sack record. Of course he failed, only registering 3.5 sacks that season.

All that said, Edwards is a natural left defensive end, young and would bring another dimension to a defense that could use all the help it could get.


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