Ravens S Tom Zbikowski was the first NFL player to take up boxing during the league's labor dispute. Next came the news that Patriots RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis is training in the sweet science. Now free-agent DE Ray Edwards is joining in.
The former-Viking has signed a contract to participate in two professional boxing matches, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported. The first bout is against a yet-to-be-determined opponent on May 20 at the Grand Casino in Hinckley, Minn.
"It's something I've always wanted to do in my life," Edwards told the newspaper while taking a break from training in Eden Prairie, Minn. "I can't put my eggs all in one basket, waiting for the NFL to settle the lockout. You never know when this lockout is going to end."
Edwards, 26, claims he has been boxing for the past four offseasons as a way of staying in shape. He will be paid $5,000 plus 50 percent of the May 20 gate proceeds; if the lockout continues into June, he'll fight again under the same terms that month at the same venue.
"There's always going to be people tell you that you can't do something," said Edwards, who is unlikely to return to the Vikings. "It's up to you to make sure you prove them wrong by going out there and believing in yourself. I'm not trying to go out there just to say I tried it. I'm going out there trying to be the best."