Ray Edwards will make his boxing debut at the Grand Casino in Hinckley on Friday night and, if the Minnesota Vikings defensive end gets his way, his career path might turn to professionally hitting opponents in the ring as opposed to on the field.â†µ
"I've openly said I won't play for the Vikings, because of the simple fact of my backup (Brian Robison) is getting paid 70 more percent than I am -- there's no way I can do that to myself," Edwards told ESPN 1500 on Thursday. "I'd rather do what I love doing. I love doing football as well. But if there's nobody that's going to trade for me, I will be definitely focusing on boxing."â†µ
Considering the current NFL lockout makes it impossible for any other NFL team to trade for Edwards, his boxing career is probably going to be the focus for awhile. And by awhile, I mean at least one more fight as ESPN 1500 reports Edwards signed a two-bout contract that will pay him $5,000 plus 50 percent of the gate.â†µ
If Edwards isn't able to defeat his first professional opponent, however -- 34-year-old Duluth kickboxer T.J. Gibson who expects to weigh in with his 5-foot-9 frame holding "about 210 to 215 pounds" according to the Star Tribune -- the Vikings defensive end better hope a trade is in his future. (or the Vikings open up their checkbook).