The Oakland Raiders announced on Sunday that the team has signed Stanford alumnus and 5-year NFL veteran Trent Edwards (previously of the Buffalo Bills, where he spent the first four years of his professional career, and the Jacksonville Jaguars). Edwards will enter Raider camp in Napa Valley as a competitor for the spot to back up starting quarterback Jason Campbell. Edwards will have to beat out Berkeley grad Kyle Boller for the #2 job.
After a standout career on the Farm, Edwards went to Buffalo in the third round of the 2007 NFL Draft. In the 24 games (and 23 starts) he played during his first two years in the league, he threw for 4,329 yards but only boasted a 1:1 touchdown-to-interception rate over that period. He also began experiencing a string on concussions and head trauma injuries early in 2008, and has struggled with head-related concerns since.
Edwards started games as recently as last season, when he got the first 2 starts under center for Buffalo before the team put him on waivers and he moved to Jacksonville. In his brief shot at starting anew in 2010, Edwards managed a modest 4.6 yards per completion while completing 56% of his passing attempts. The Bills offense struggled mightily, posting 17 total points over the games that Edwards started. But if he can overcome his increasingly formidable relationship with hits to the lid, Edwards could be a viable back-up and potentially work his way back to starting for another club in 2012, when he will be an unrestricted free agent. His intellect and knowledge of the game have always been among his principle assets, suggesting that a change of scenery, time to prepare for a new playbook and the rest of the prolonged lockout could all lead to regained productivity, if only in practice and on the sidelines, during the upcoming season in O.co Coliseum.
If nothing else, his homecoming (Edwards is a Los Gatos native) will give him reason to update his Twitter, an account that hasn’t produced a single tweet since April 26th of last year.