Sunday, February 28, 2016
MORE ON THE NEWEST ROUGHRIDER: ARMANTI EDWARDS
Here's the $64,000 question---can Armanti Edwards recapture the magic that made him one of the best players in college football during his stay at Appalachian State University from 2006-09?
Well, the two-time Walter Peyton Award winner may finally get his chance this fall, only that chance will come north of the border in the Canadian Football League. He signed with the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Wednesday.
Edwards, who was moved to wide receiver in the National Football League with the Carolina Panthers, Cleveland Browns and the Chicago Bears, hasn’t been a full-time quarterback since 2009.
Apparantly, the Roughriders, who have gone through their own doldrums of losing quarterbacks to injury the last two years, are willing to take a chance on Edwards. The Roughriders have lost their starting quarterback, Darian Durrant (University of North Carolina), to injury the last two seasons. Last season, thanks to injuries to Durrant and backup Kevin Glenn, they were forced to play, then-rookie Brett Smith at QB
Ironically, Edwards, who is listed as a wide receiver on the team roster, is looking to make the switch to quarterback this season. And he has an honest chance of becoming the No. 2 quarterback on the depth chart. Making things even more interesting, former Chattanooga quarterback, B.J. Coleman, is also a member of the Roughriders.
And Edwards also joins an organization that features one of the best young coaches in the CFL in Chris Jones, who led the Toronto Argonauts to a Grey Cup championship in 2012 before he guided the Edomonton Eskimos to the the league title last fall, in only his second season at the helm with that team.
The 5-foot-11, 190-pound Edwards started 49 games at quarterback for Appalachian State, leading the Mountaineers to four straight Southern Conference championships and back-to-back NCAA Division 1 titles in 2006 and 2007.
Over his four seasons, he became the first quarterback in Division 1 history to throw for more than 10,000 yards and rush for more than 4,000 yards in his career. He twice won the Walter Payton Award as the top offensive player in the Football Championship Subdivision.
The Panthers selected Edwards in the third round (89th overall) of the 2010 NFL draft and he played 39 regular-season games with them over four seasons — mainly as a receiver and returner.
Shortly after Carolina cut Edwards in October of 2013, he signed with the Cleveland Browns. They released him with an injury settlement two months later. He signed with the Chicago Bears in June of 2014 and went to their training camp, but was cut in August of that year.
Edwards’s NFL statistics were modest — 2-for-3 passing for 11 yards, three rushes for 12 yards, six receptions for 131 yards, 40 punt returns for 281 yards, and 15 kickoff returns for 295 yards.