Vikings defensive end Ray Edwards was among the restricted free agents who were re-issued contract tenders on Tuesday as part of a technicality in the NFL rules. (Players who signed their tender, obviously, did not have to go through this exercise.)
Edwards was given a first-round tender offer by the Vikings in March that was worth $2.5 million for 2010. Edwards, though, has declined to sign the tender in large part because he's upset he did not become an unrestricted free agent after the 2009 season.
Edwards, who has completed four seasons, ordinarily would have become a free agent this offseason but with the Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire after 2010, players needed six years of service to hit the open market. Edwards also likely did not like the fact the Vikings declined to put a first- and third-round tender on him, meaning he would have made $3.2 million.
Edwards has not attended any of the Vikings' offseason program and does not plan to take part in the mandatory minicamp from June 11-13. Because Edwards is not signed to a contract he can't be fined for skipping it.
The expectation is that today's move will mean little and that Edwards will not sign his tender offer until June 15, the date on which the Vikings could drop the offer to 110 percent of Edwards' 2009 base salary. That would put Edwards' salary to $1.1 million. The issue is Edwards has no real leverage because if he does not play for the Vikings he would have to sit out.
By the way, we'll have access to the Vikings Organized Team Activities on Wednesday so make sure to drop by Access Vikings throughout the day for updates.