Ray Edwards returns to the ring, ‘knocks out’ opponent

Brian McIntyre
Shutdown Corner

During the 2011 lockout, then-free agent defensive end Ray Edwards passed his time by pursuing a boxing career. The 6-foot-5, 273-pound Edwards shed 15 pounds for his ring debut, in which he scored a unanimous decision in a four-round bout with 5-foot-9, 210-pound T.J. Gibson.

Released last November by the Atlanta Falcons, the current street free agent has returned to the ring. His latest match came against an unknown and clearly outmatched opponent at a recent WinterFest boxing event in West Fargo, North Dakota.

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Edwards had a major size and reach advantage over his opponent, who appears to have reached the conclusion that it is better to be embarrassed than pummeled.

After the lockout, Edwards signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract with the Falcons that included $11 million in guaranteed money and paid out $12 million before the Falcons abruptly released an underachieving Edwards last November after just 25 games with the team. If only opposing offensive tackles flopped as quickly as his opponent in North Dakota.

In 25 games with the Falcons, Edwards had 42 tackles and just 3.5 sacks, all in 2011 as he was held without a sack in a 2012 season that quickly saw his playing-time diminish. Edwards did have a workout with the Seattle Seahawks, who did not offer him a contract even after losing pass-rushing defensive end Chris Clemons to a torn ACL in the playoffs, opting instead to sign Patrick Chukwurah (out of football since 2007) as a spare defensive end for a divisional playoff game against Edwards' former team.

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