Vikings DE Ray Edwards Wants a Fair Deal

Minnesota Vikings restricted free agent defensive Ray Edwards has not signed his one-year tender, and likely won't do so until he absolutely has to, reports Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune.

Zulgad points out that Edwards' primary beef isn't with the Vikings, it's with the lack of a Collective Bargaining Agreement that kept him from unrestricted free agency this off-season.

"My frustration is that I signed a four-year contract, I didn’t sign a six-year contract," Edwards told the Tribune. "There’s nothing you can really do about it, so I’m just waiting my time, see what I can do to better my situation. I do need to take care of myself and my family. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely get paid a nice amount of money but let’s be fair here.

"So that’s my thing about the whole situation."

Edwards, 25, was chosen in the fourth-round (127th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft, and signed a four-year deal worth just over $2 million dollars. Edwards became a full-time starter in 2007, which played a large hand in him triggering a playing-time incentive in his rookie contract that increased his base salary by $466,000 in 2009, which saw Edwards post a career-high with 8.5 quarterback sacks.

For his career, Edwards has 145 tackles, including 36 for a loss, and 21.5 quarterback sacks. He also has 58 hits on opposing quarterbacks, including a team-high 26 in 2009, and has six forced fumbles and 9 passes defensed over 58 games during his four-year career. (Edwards was suspended for four games during the 2007 for violating the NFL's steroid policy.)

Edwards has also earned nearly $650,000 in performance-based pay over the last four seasons, including a team-high $221,322 after the 2008 season.

A restricted free agent this off-season, Edwards was tendered at the "First Round" level, and would earn a base salary of $2.521 million dollars for 2010 under the one-year tender.

Edwards is just looking for a fair, long-term contract, whether that comes in Minnesota or elsewhere.

"I hope so," Edwards said of signing an offer sheet from another team before the April 15 deadline. "I think it’s a strong possibility. We still have a couple of days left so hopefully something happens and we can make a move.

"The Vikings are going to do what they want to do," Edwards added. "Maybe they want me here, but maybe not. We’ll see. Maybe they [come] away with a first-round draft pick for me. So be it.

"I want to get paid what’s fair. If it’s here or somewhere else."

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