Could this be the move that frees up the Raiders to draft Darren McFadden?
The team announced the signing of veteran defensive end Kalimba Edwards today.
Edwards signed a two-year deal worth $5 million according to the NFL Network.
Defensive end was a pressing need. While Edwards won't be confused with Dwight Freeney, he's a step above Tyler Brayton.
And if that need is filled, the need to add a DE early in the draft isn't as big.
Then the Raiders could add this guy to the backfield.
Back to the newest Raider.
Edwards(6-6, 265) has shown the ability to be dominant, but has been dogged by inconsistency since being a second-round draft pick of Detroit’s in 2002.
He signed a five-year, $20 million deal in 2006, but has only six sacks since. He tallied a career-high seven sacks in 2005 and has 26 in six seasons.
Edwards has 22 starts in 87 career games.
He played in eight games last season with six starts. He missed four because of injuries before being deactivated for the final four games of the season.
Edwards wasn’t surprised to be cut by Detroit this month. By the end of 2007, he expected it after failing to become the dominant pass rusher he expected to be playing for Detroit head coach and renowned defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.
Players like Warren Sapp and Simeon Rice flourished under Marinelli.
“I told you all at the beginning of the season what the deal was if I didn’t produce, if you all remember my statements,” Edwards told the Detroit Free Press. “If I would have made the plays, I’d still be here. I told you if I didn’t make the plays, I wasn’t going to be here.”
Now he’s in Oakland.
Edwards will be a candidate to start opposite Derrick Burgess as the Raiders look for someone to replace the pressure of the edge that Chris Clemons created last season.
Jay Richardson will be in his second season, but the Raiders usually took him out in passing situations.
Edwards’ best game last year was the season opener when he sacked the Raiders’ Josh McCown twice.
With Edwards signed, the Raiders might elect to pass on a defensive end in the draft and go with McFadden, the star running back from Arkansas.
Defensive end was a major need this offseason and the Raiders figured to be in position to snag two of the draft’s best, Chris Long or Vernon Gholston.
But if the team is satisfied with Edwards and Richardson opposite Burgess, McFadden becomes the obvious selection at No. 4.
And in scouring the latest draft news, there’s a chance Long and Gholston could go first and second overall.
But if the Raiders end up with the best offensive player from the Southeastern Conference in consecutive drafts, that wouldn’t be bad at all.