The Bills took another step in fortifying their defensive front seven as free agent defensive end Dwan Edwards signed a multi-year contract with the club Wednesday afternoon following a visit with the team the previous day.
“It’s an up and coming organization and they play in a tough division and I kind of like the challenge of that,” Edwards said. “I think it can be a great place for me. I couldn’t be more excited.”
Edwards reached an agreement in principle with the club just hours after free agent linebacker
“I was about ready to get on a plane and started having a conversation with my agent and things were starting to move and he recommended that I not get on the plane," Edwards told Buffalobills.com. "And it went from there and here I am.”
For the Bills adding the defensive end gives defensive coordinator George Edwards another starting caliber player well versed in the 3-4 scheme, which Buffalo intends to implement for the 2010 season.
“I have a lot of experience in the 3-4 and I’m capable of playing a lot of positions along the line. I think my versatility could be a huge addition to the Bills,” said Edwards. “It’s kind of my specialty and what I’m used to and have been around it my whole career.”
“I know coach Edwards has got some experience from Miami as they do some similar things in the 3-4. Implementing the 3-4 is a great defense, it allows you to bring a lot of pressure from a lot of places and gives opponents a lot they have to prepare for.”
Edwards (6’3” 290) is a seven-year vet coming off one of his best seasons with Baltimore. After missing the 2008 campaign due to season-ending spinal fusion surgery the defensive end bounced back in 2009 to reclaim his starting role posting a career high 47 tackles, a sack and a pass break up.
“A lot of hard work paid off,” said Edwards. “I’ve gotten better every year I’ve been with the Ravens. Unfortunately I had the injury in ’08, but came back strong and probably had the most productive year of my career. I look forward to continue to grow and improve and be a great addition.”
The defensive end position in the 3-4 scheme is one that often receives little recognition as it is not known as a playmaking position, but the blue collar Edwards doesn’t seem to mind as he’ll likely compete with veterans
“It’s definitely not a glamorous position,” he said. “You kind of free up the linebackers to make a lot of plays. It’s about setting the edge and being able to hold the point. It’s a lot of grinding and a lot of dirty work, but I’ve kind of been brought up to do that work and not get a lot of credit for it. That’s kind of the job you lead when you play there in a 3-4.”
The 28-year old made free agent visits to Seattle and Denver before visiting with Buffalo and deciding to sign with the Bills.
Now that he's officially on the roster, Edwards has already surveyed Buffalo's 2010 opponents and is eager to play against the AFC North squads on the schedule, including his now former club.
“Those will be some big games for me and ones I’ll be looking forward to," he said. "I will definitely have them circled on my calendar.”