When the Buffalo Bills went out and signed defensive ends Mario Williams and Mark Anderson in free agency or maybe even before that, nearly everyone, including myself concluded it was a formality that incumbent starting defensive end Dwan Edwards would soon be given his pink slip.
And for good reason. Edwards is slated to earn in the ballpark of $4 million this season, and that’s a lot of loot for a team with Williams, Anderson and Chris Kelsay now ahead of him on the depth chart. That list doesn’t include 2010 third-round pick Alex Carrington and the possible transformation of Shawne Merriman from linebacker to defensive end.
Plus, Edwards is a prototypical 3-4 end and it’s common knowledge know the team is radically drifting towards a 4-3 base.
However, if Edwards is on his way out—it’s news to him. I spoke to a team source close to Edwards and he says Edwards has been given absolutely no indication that he is out or on his way out anytime soon.
“Dwan has been told to be ready to come to training camp and compete for a job like the rest of his teammates,” the source said. ”No one in the organization has said anything to him about a release, a pay cut or anything alone those line. “As far as he knows, he’s very much still in the mix and is working hard to get ready for training camp this summer.”
In fact, according the source Edwards has already been paid a 2012 roster bonus of nearly $400 grand.
The Bills have no immediate need financially to set Edwards loose. Even with the additions of Williams and Anderson the Bills still have some maneuverability under the 2012 salary cap.
Of course, things could easily change. Buffalo could add a player to the roster and sacrifice Edwards’ salary in return, or they could decide to cut ties after seeing what the draft brings them. Heck, Buddy Nix can wake up tomorrow and decide Edwards’ simply isn’t worth keeping around.
For the moment at least, it (maybe surprisingly) doesn’t seem like Edwards is in imminent danger of being unemployed.
It’s worth nothing that Edwards is signed through 2013 and if the team did release him anytime between now and then, they wouldn’t have to eat any dead cap money.