Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards will officially become boxer Ray Edwards on Friday night, when he makes his pro boxing debut. And Edwards thinks he may have a better future in boxing than he has with the Vikings.
“I’ve openly said I won’t play for the Vikings, because of the simple fact of my backup is getting paid 70 more percent than I am — there’s no way I can do that to myself,” Edwards told 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. “I’d rather do what I love doing. I love doing football as well. But if there’s nobody that’s going to trade for me, I will be definitely focusing on boxing.”
Edwards is not currently under contract, and as a player with five years of NFL experience, it’s not clear whether he’d be a restricted or unrestricted free agent under the rules of the 2011 season. But if he turns out to be a restricted free agent, and if the Vikings won’t pay him what he thinks he’s worth, Edwards says he’s serious about boxing professionally.
When Edwards said his backup makes more than him, he was referring to the three-year, $14.1 million contract that Brian Robison has. But he says that’s not a knock on Robison.
“I was happy for [Robison],” Edwards said. “He’s a definitely great guy. I love the guy off the field, love him on the field. Great teammate. I wished him all the best, because we both were up for contracts. So, I told him that more than likely they’re going to keep you because of the numbers situation.”
The truth is, when Edwards runs the numbers, he’s almost certain to realize he can’t make nearly as much boxing as he can playing football, and to decide to go back to football when the lockout ends. But Edwards is angry enough at the moment that he wants to punch somebody. And he’ll get a chance to punch somebody in the ring on Friday night.