Disgruntled defensive end Ray Edwards has until tomorrow to sign his one-year tendered offer from the team. Like many other fourth- and fifth-year players that have been deprived the opportunity to cash in on free agency due to the end of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, Edwards hasn't appeared at any of the team's offseason workouts. Unlike Adrian Peterson, Edwards was excused from the mandatory minicamp – in fact, he couldn't attend by rule – because he is technically unsigned. Expect that status to change soon.
As early as today, Edwards is expected to sign his tender of $2.521 million. If he refuses to sign the tender, which was offered at a first-round compensation rate, the Vikings will have the option to drop his tender to 110 percent of his 2009 contract, which would be approximately $1.1 million. While he may not be happy about the situation, he is likely to swallow hard and sign his tender. Not only can the team drop the offer by more than half after Tuesday, but if he holds out beyond Aug. 10, he loses a year of credit for free agency even if he signs before the start of the regular season, meaning that he would be viewed as a four-year veteran again in 2011.
There were going to be victims of collateral damage when the CBA was disbanded and the hardest hit were those players who saw the service time needed for unrestricted free agency bumped from four years to six years. Following a strong 2009 season and the need league-wide for defensive ends with pass-rush ability, Edwards would have cashed in big had he hit the open market. He may have been valuable enough for the Vikings to have considered slapping the franchise tag on him. Perhaps a contract extension will get done in the coming months, but, with no leverage, there may not be a big rush for the Vikings to get a new deal done, since Edwards is essentially powerless to do anything about his contract situation. He'll sign up today or tomorrow, but don't expect him to be happy about it.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.