Bryan Edwards showed enough signs of potential in 2021 to attract interest from elsewhere in the NFL, and the Raiders were happy to answer the phone.
Las Vegas is trading Edwards and a 2023 seventh-round draft pick to the Atlanta Falcons for a 2023 fifth-round pick, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported Friday. The teams officially announced the deal later that day.
The 6-foot-3, 212-pound Edwards was selected by the Raiders in the third round of the 2020 draft with the hopes he'd add a larger frame to Las Vegas' receiving corps, but he didn't see many opportunities as a rookie. That changed in 2021, when the Raiders released receiver Henry Ruggs and had to look down the depth chart for targets not intended for Hunter Renfrow or Darren Waller. They found a good option in Edwards, who caught 34 of 59 targets for 571 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games (12 starts).
Edwards and fellow Raider Zay Jones enjoyed relative breakout performances in 2021, with the two finishing third and fourth in receiving yards among all Raiders with a combined total of 81 receptions, over 1,100 yards and four touchdowns. Jones' performance earned him a new three-year, $24 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Edwards' production inspired the Falcons to pick up the phone to dial new Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler with an offer.
Edwards was not a draft choice of Ziegler's, of course, having been selected by former general manager Mike Mayock in 2020. As is often the case, a regime change and another team's interest produced a deal that could help Edwards shine in his new city.
Atlanta has plenty of room on its depth chart. The Falcons spent a first-round pick on USC receiver Drake London and return Olamide Zaccheaus, but all that's left are the likes of Auden Tate, Damiere Byrd and KhaDarel Hodge. Edwards can certainly compete for the spot manned by Tate and will at the very least provide quality depth in an offense that is still in need of additional talent.