Falcons Make Changes at Wide Receiver

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Getty Bryan Edwards #89 of the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons made some changes at wide receiver on Thursday, November 24.

Per ESPN’s Michael Rothstein, the team released Bryan Edwards and signed Frank Darby from the practice squad to the active roster.

Rothstein added that “it just never worked out for Edwards in Atlanta” as he had logged just three catches for 15 yards on five total targets this season.

In addition to those two moves, the Falcons added wide receiver Emeka Emezie and offensive lineman Parker Ferguson to the practice squad.


The Falcons Traded the Raiders for Edwards

Desperately in need of wide receiver help ahead of the 2022 season with Calvin Ridley suspended, the Falcons made a deal with the Las Vegas Raiders for the former third-round pick.

The Raiders sent Edwards and a 2023 seventh-round pick to Atlanta in exchange for the Falcons’ 2023 fifth-round pick.

This trade initially brought Atlanta fans a lot of excitement because as a 6-foot-3, 212-pound receiver, Edwards had been compared to NFL greats such as Terrell Owens and Randy Moss, according to Raiders’ Levi Edwards.

And not just that, but also the fact he would be joining two more giants on Atlanta’s receiving offense in 6-foot-6, 247-pound tight end Kyle Pitts and 6-foot-4, 209-pound wideout Drake London. However, things didn’t turn out how Atlanta had planned in a run-heavy offense.

The Raiders drafted Edwards out of South Carolina at 81st overall in the 2020 NFL Draft. He started alongside Henry Ruggs as a rookie and finished his first big league season appearing in 12 games with 3 starts, recording 11 receptions for 193 yards and one touchdown. His production increased last fall as Edwards finished the 2021 season with 34 catches for 571 yards and three touchdowns.

Hopefully, Edwards can find his spark again in another wide receiver-needy team.


What Darby Brings to the Falcons’ Table

Some may be scratching their heads as to why Darby is taking Edward’s place on the roster.

But there isn’t much to think about. Darby’s strength is on special teams and Edwards simply doesn’t have that experience.

Darby, the Falcon’s 2021 sixth-round pick, has been elevated twice this season––for special team purposes.

Following a rough rookie year, Darby spent the entire off season facing easily the toughest training camp battle as the wide receiver room ran deep with experienced veterans. He ended up not making it through the Falcons’ final roster cuts but he was re-signed to the practice squad the very next day.

In addition to his special team skills, Darby brings some much-need energy to the Falcons’ locker room, which could come in handy for a team who is on a playoff re-birth mission.

Darby was well aware that he was on the roster bubble ahead of Atlanta’s final cuts but made it clear that no matter where the future would take him, he planned to keep his energy high.

“I can’t change, I can’t change for nobody,” Darby said back in August. “I gotta always be myself at the end of the day. I know people were wondering if my energy was gonna turn down or something if things don’t go the right way here, but nah, I will keep going. I’m always gonna bring energy because that’s how I got here.”

 

 

 

 

 

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