The team made a widely-praised trade for him in the offseason, but Edwards barely played.
The Falcons brought Frank Darby up to the roster yesterday, and I wondered whether that might be in response to Kyle Pitts’ injury. Now we know that it’s at least partially to replace Bryan Edwards, who was waived today.
It’s a surprising and disappointing end to Edwards’ brief tenure in Atlanta, which saw him go from fairly heralded acquisition to seemingly weekly inactive. He’ll likely have little trouble catching on with another team, nonetheless.
#Falcons WR Bryan Edwards is being placed on waivers, source said, a potential late-season addition for a WR-needy team.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) November 24, 2022
Edwards wound up playing in just seven games in his Falcons tenure, reeling in three catches for 15 yards. Marcus Mariota threw an early season interception against the Rams targeting him in the end zone that some fans and analysts criticized Edwards’ effort on, and the duo never really developed much of a rapport beyond that. Edwards was infrequently targeted when he was on the field and increasingly wasn’t on the field at all as time went on.
I’m not sure exactly what happened—and whether the Falcons will address it—because Edwards came in as a seeming strong fit for this Atlanta offense given his height, physicality, and quality production in 12 starts for the Raiders in 2021. Given those attributes and his youth, it seemed likely Edwards would find his way to #2 receiver duties, but instead he was overtaken by Olamide Zaccheaus for that role and surpassed on the depth chart by both Damiere Byrd and KhaDarel Hodge. The Falcons surrendered a fifth round pick next year to get Edwards, and it’s safe to say they set that pick on fire.
Given that he is still just 24 years old, it’s safe to say Edwards will land with another team willing to take a gamble on his upside and past production, especially with quite a few receiver-needy teams out there. The Falcons, meanwhile, will roll on with Drake London, Zaccheaus, Byrd, and Hodge, with Frank Darby likely getting more run than Edwards did as a fifth receiver owing to his ability to be an effective presence on special teams. We wish Edwards well wherever he lands next, but this definitely isn’t how we envisioned this trade working out for the Falcons.