Falcons gave Edwards $1 million to walk

November, 20, 2012
11/20/12
3:14
PM ET
The Atlanta Falcons were so eager to show defensive end Ray Edwards the door last week, they handed him a check for $1 million on his way out.

According to a league source, Edwards collected $1 million in termination pay. I’m not sure if the Falcons handed that to him the exact moment they released him just over a week ago or if Edwards got the check a few days later.

It doesn’t matter. It just shows how intent the Falcons were on getting rid of a guy they felt had become a major problem in the locker room.

FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer reported that the decision to part ways with Edwards came after he refused to join a team gathering, after repeatedly being asked to do so. I think that might have been just the final straw. I’ve been told that Edwards was rude to the team’s support staff on several occasions and it didn’t stop after he received a lecture from coach Mike Smith. Edwards also seemed to take a nonchalant approach after he lost his starting job and his playing time continued to dwindle.

Give the Falcons credit for realizing that team unity trumps just about everything. They were willing to write the $1 million check, just to get rid of Ray Edwards.

They also were willing to swallow their pride and admit they made a mistake last year when they signed Edwards to a five-year, $27.5 million contract with $11 million in guaranteed money. They’ll still take a $4.65 million salary-cap hit for Edwards next season, but he had been scheduled to count more than $7 million toward the cap.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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