Robison on Edwards: 'He'll go get his payday and we'll all be happy'
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Brian Robison has read the quotes.
He knows Ray Edwards has been telling everyone the Minnesota Vikings can't pay their starting left end less than Robison, who re-signed in March for three years and $14.1 million.
But after backing up Edwards the past three seasons, Robison wants to start -- and he knows that probably means Edwards has to go.
"I know Ray and I've seen some of the comments he made and we've talked about it," Robison told 1500 ESPN's "Reusse & Mackey" show on Tuesday.
"He means no harm about it -- he's doing what he has to do to get his payday, and he definitely deserves a payday. He's had two great seasons playing left defensive end for us. He's definitely made a name for himself.
"He deserves that payday, and at the same time, I feel like I deserve the right to start. I feel like I've fought every year for that right to start and haven't really got the shot that I deserve yet, and hopefully, now I'll get that shot and he'll go get his payday and we'll all be happy."
Days before re-signing Robison, the Vikings offered Edwards a one-year tender offer worth $2.836 million -- less than half of the $6.5 million signing bonus Robison received on his deal.
The tender probably will end up moot, assuming the next labor agreement makes five-year veterans such as Edwards eligible for free agency. But Edwards took it as an insult and lashed out at the team in several interviews, saying he'd pursue professional boxing before he'd play for what the Vikings were offering.
"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," Edwards told 1500 ESPN last month. "There's no way I can do that to myself."
Although Edwards hasn't closed the door on returning to the Vikings, there is little chance the team will compete to retain his services on the open market, especially with significant money committed to fellow defensive linemen Jared Allen, Kevin Williams and Robison.
That's expected to open the door for Robison, who has 13½ sacks in four NFL seasons -- barely half of Edwards' 26½ sacks in the same span. In 16 games last season, Robison played 319 snaps (31.9%), recording two sacks and 18 quarterback pressures.
"I'm not going to put a number on anything that I want to do this year," Robison said. "But my main goal is to make sure that when we go out there that I'm one of the most feared guys on our defense."