Apparently Ray Edwards is the only member of the Minnesota Vikings that feels the need to make any news, so by God, I'm just going to keep on reporting it.
As mentioned yesterday (at least once), Edwards has been tendered at a first-round level by the Minnesota Vikings in the event that he is a restricted free agent once transactions begin. That would mean a salary of approximately $2.8 million for Edwards in the event that he's not an unrestricted free agent.
"They put a first-round tender on me (a one-year, $2.8 million contract), but even if that holds up, there's no way I will play for less than what my backup got in his new contract," Edwards told Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "There’s no way I would play here."
His backup, of course, is Brian Robison. Just before the lockout, Robison signed a new three-year contract with the Vikings worth $14.1 million, including a $6.5 million signing bonus.
Here's the thing. . .after the 2010 season, Robison was a player with four years of NFL service under his belt, having been drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the Vikings. Edwards was drafted the year before, in 2006. With a new CBA, it's possible that both Robison and Edwards could have been looking at unrestricted free agency this off-season. . .whenever that begins. With the rules before the uncapped year, which would likely have been implemented with a new CBA, both of them would have had the requisite four years of service to explore their options.
Robison opted for the safety and security. . .and the big ol' chunk of up front cash. . .that came with a new contract with the Vikings, while Edwards decided to just sort of hang out and see what happened with the CBA. Now, Edwards is in limbo, not knowing how much he'll be playing for or even where he'll be playing, while Robison knows that he has a chance to start for the Vikings in 2011.
And if we do end up going back to the 2010 rules, it doesn't matter of Ray Edwards wants to play for the Vikings for less than his "backup" is getting paid or not. If he's a restricted free agent and a team doesn't want to pony up a ton of cash and a first-round draft pick to acquire his services, then his options are going to be a bit on the limited side. In fact, he'll only have two options: play for the Vikings, or sit at home all season. At that point, it's no longer a Minnesota Viking problem. . .it's a Ray Edwards problem.