Raiders sign former Lions DE Edwards to two-year deal

Updated: March 28, 2008, 5:29 PM ET
Associated Press

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders signed defensive end Kalimba Edwards to a two-year contract on Friday as they try to improve their pass rush for next season.

Edwards was cut earlier this month by the Detroit Lions. He will reportedly earn $5 million in the deal with the Raiders.

Edwards, a second-round pick out of South Carolina in 2002, has 26 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in six seasons in the NFL. His best year came in 2005, when he recorded a career-high seven sacks.

Edwards played only eight games last season as he was slowed by a knee injury and eventually lost his job with the Lions. His best game happened to come in the opener against the Raiders, when he had two sacks, forced two fumbles and recovered another to help Detroit beat Oakland 36-21. Edwards had only one more sack the rest of the season.

The Raiders had been in search of a pass rusher from the right side to complement left end Derrick Burgess ever since Chris Clemons left to sign with Philadelphia earlier this offseason. Oakland had the fifth fewest sacks in the NFL last season with 27, with eight coming from Clemons.

Oakland has been extremely active this offseason trying to upgrade a defense that was ranked 22nd in the NFL last season and contributed to a fifth straight losing season. The Raiders went 4-12 last season and have only 19 wins the past five years.

The team re-signed defensive lineman Tommy Kelly to a deal that guarantees him more than $18 million. It also used the franchise tag on cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, guaranteeing him about $10 million for next season.

The Raiders also traded for cornerback DeAngelo Hall and gave him a contract that included $24 million in guarantees, and signed free agent safety Gibril Wilson and defensive tackle William Joseph.


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press