Announcement Vote In The NFL All-Division Super Bowl: AFC North vs. NFC North ×

Dec 30, 2012; New Orleans, LA, USA; Carolina Panthers wide receiver Armanti Edwards (14) returns a punt against the New Orleans Saints during fourth quarter of their game at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Carolina Panthers defeated the New Orleans Saints 44-38. John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Armanti Edwards Days Until Chicago Bears Season Opener


We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Kickoff series last season that we decided to do it again.  In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Bears September 7th season opener against the Buffalo Bills.

We’re 80 days away from the Chicago Bears season opener and that brings our Countdown to Kickoff series to number 80, WR/KR Armanti Edwards.  Edwards was a new addition to the Bears this offseason, and faces an uphill battle to make the final roster.  Edwards will be competing with the likes of Terrence Tolliver and Michael Spurlock for the 5th wide receiver spot, and will likely have to show his worth on special teams to win the job.  Spurlock seems to be his main competition, since both players are listed as WR/KR on the roster.

Armanti Edwards spent his college years playing quarterback for Appalachian State.  Most of you will remember him from a 2007 game in which he led the Mountaineers to a stunning 34-32 upset of number 5 ranked Michigan.  Edwards had 3 passing touchdowns that game to go along with one on the ground.  He also put up some pretty impressive stats while at Appalachian State.  As a freshman in 2006, Edwards became one of only a handful of players in the history of college football to throw for 2000 yards and rush for 1000 yards in the same season.

The Carolina Panthers selected Edwards in the 3rd round (89th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft to be, among other things, a wildcat quarterback.  After the wildcat fad ended as quickly as it started, Edwards made practically no impact as a receiver and a somewhat limited impact as a return man.  The Panthers cut him during the 2013 season and he was subsequently signed by the Cleveland Browns.

Edwards will be one of the players I monitor closely during the preseason, since the Bears definitely have a need for depth in the return game in the wake of Devin Hester leaving for the Atlanta Falcons.  What do you guys think?  Will he make the roster?

Be on the lookout for our Countdown to Kickoff series as we continue to work our way to the season opener on September 7th.  We’re 80 days from kickoff.  Are you ready???

Tags: Armanti Edwards Chicago Bears Countdown To Kickoff 2014 Featured Popular

  • evanbuchanan

    Yes he will! It’s Karma. You neglected to mention that Armanti is the only two time Walter Peyton award winner given each year to the best college FCS player. It is is fate that he has landed in Walter’s town!

  • rallypoint10

    Look, the guy can run, throw and catch. Yes, he stood out on the college level playing against mostly smaller, slower competition, but he can compete if TRULY given the chance (which the Panthers didn’t). As with the Panthers and Browns, he will probably have one of the best arms on the Bears roster. He doesn’t have 100 yard speed, but he has 40 yard quickness to get separation. With the Panthers, he was really developing as a WR, but his ability has always been discounted because of his size and I suggest he didnt fit the new GM’s mold of a stereotypical NFL player. What folks don’t appreciate is his will to win. His heart. They only look at his size. He beat Michigan. He beat a Joe Flacco-led Delaware. Give him a chance to get on the field when it matters and there is nobody else I’d rather have with the ball in his hands. He’s humble. He has character. He has work ethic. Run him in some option situations, and not just once a season. Get him more game day experience. He will find a way to beat you. Just like so many of his detractors now, I didn’t “get” him when he first appeared for AppState. That view changed quickly when I saw his heart, will and leadership by example.

    • Prospero2

      Great summary of the talents of a fine young athlete. When given a decent chance, he produces–as he did with a 79 yard Punt Return and an 81 yards pass reception for Carolina in his last full season with the team.

      • Jason Alston

        Please read this and then have a seat ( http://www.dawgsbynature.com/2013/10/31/5050154/browns-sign-wr-armanti-edwards-may-get-chance-to-spark-teammates# ). It clearly breaks down the errors made by the Redskins and Aints that led to these examples of fluke production.

        • Prospero2

          Errors? Yes, the Skins and Saints made errors. They grossly underestimated Armanti Edwards.

          • Jason Alston

            Obviously you’re opposed to reading. A shining example of that App education I guess. SMH

          • Prospero2

            Didn’t go to App State, moron, though I hear it’s a fine school. Do watch the Panthers & have been to Spartanburg for a couple of pre-season Panthers practices and saw AE as a fine player getting better every practice. Any team that gives him a chance to play will be very glad they did.

          • Jason Alston

            Oh my, you weren’t even App State material? You should have kept that to yourself homie. You aren’t using your real name on Disqus though so I guess you’ll be ok. The Panthers have generated propaganda about wide receivers shining in the offseason since the Keary Colbert days. Every year was going to be Colbert’s year. Until he was cut. Then the same happened with Dwayne Jarrett. And, as i predicted before the 2013 season even started, the same was happening with Armanti; and if you go to Panthers.com and read articles from last offseason you’ll see where in the comments I predicted that he’d underwhelm yet again (I wasn’t expecting him to get cut during the season though, I thought they’d wait til after the season was over). Now they’ve turned to generating propaganda about Brent Bersin, he’s their new diamond in the rough but it’s the same story.

            Bottom line: the Panthers DID give Armanti more than enough chances. And he competed against an inferior cast of receivers. And he could do nothing. This “he never got a chance” thing was a myth. Maybe you can say Ryne Robinson, Taye Biddle or Joe Adams didn’t get a chance, as all of them got less of a chance than Armanti. But Armanti was given his shot and he could do nothing with it. He was even given more of a shot than Kenny Moore was despite Moore being a favorite of Steve Smith. Armanti is about to go into his fifth pro year, and you guys are still holding out hope for a miracle that will never come. Give up.

          • rallypoint10

            LOL…you are as terrible in making assumptions about me as you are in assessing the “chance” that Armanti got @ Carolina. Am neither an AppState alum nor fan, particularly, though they (and particularly Armanti) got my attention when they beat one of my usual favorite teams in 2007, Michigan. Although originally from Southern Calif. (have really enjoyed USC over the years) I lived in the upper Midwest for several years and got sucked into the “tradition” of Michigan and Ohio State. Look, he was a record-setting QB but didnt fit the NFL stereotype in that position. So he accepted the challenge of converting to and adapting his athletic ability to another position. Frankly, the Panthers made a mistake in drafting him so high if he was going to be a conversion “project” — unless they were prepared to give him on-the-field playing time. Not just every once in awhile, like they did, but during the preseason if you are going to invest that much in a “project”, then you have to be willing to give the “project” game time to develop in live action — not just reps at training camp. The most surprising thing is that Armanti was able to develop at WR as much as he did despite so little onfield development time vs. live competition. His first year was a throw away because, I understand, John Fox didn’t want to draft him so didnt give him any kind of chance at all except a couple of PRs (which he hadnt done since grade school, I understand).

            Armanti’s supposed skill opportunities in being drafted by the Panthers included passing, running, receiving, kick return and punt return.

            Here is a summary of his game chances in those roles (the 2010 throwaway season not included):

            Edwards suited up for all 16 regular season games in 2011. Since PRESEASON is the most likely place a “project” player is going to get some playing experience other than in intrasquad scrimmages without having an impact on standings, there is a little extra texture here in detailing Armanti Edwards’ learning opportunities in the preseason in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

            Preseason Game 1 vs. New York Giants
            Caught one pass for 36 yards (targeted 3 times)
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            Three punt returns for 50 yards (longest: 24 yards)
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Preseason Game 2 vs. Miami Dolphins
            Caught two passes for 11 yards (targeted 5 times)
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            No punt return opportunities
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Preseason Game 3 vs. Cincinnati Bengals
            No pass receptions, targeted 1 time
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            2 punt returns, for 5 yards
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Preseason Game 4 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
            Caught 3 passes for 29 yards (targeted 8 times)
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            1 punt return for 8 yards
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Regular season vs. Arizona (4 punt returns for 19 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regullar season vs. Green Bay (2 punt returns for 11 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Jacksonville (4 punt returns for 28 yards, 1 kickoff return for 4 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Chicago (2 punt returns for 7 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. New Orleans (1 punt return for 9 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Atlanta (1 punt return for 0 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Washington ( no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Minnesota (2 punt returns for 19 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Tennessee (2 punt returns for 10 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Detroit (2 punt returns for 25 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Indianapolis (4 punt returns for 23 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Tampa Bay (1 kickoff return for 17 yards, 1 punt return for 12 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Atlanta (1 rushing carry for 5 yards, 1 kickoff return for 14 yards, 4 punt returns for 11 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing)

            Regular season vs. Houston (1-1 passing for 11 yards, 1 punt return for 1 yard, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Tampa Bay (1 punt return for 1 yard, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. New Orleans (otherwise no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            By all reports, AE was even more improved when the 2012 training camp opened. He looked good, and despite all the odds and speculation against him, he made the 53-man roster for the third year.

            His opportunities in 2012?

            Preseason Game 1 vs. Houston Texans
            Caught 1 pass for 13 yards (targeted twice)
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            No punt return opportunities
            2 kickoff returns for 45 yards

            Preseason Game 2 vs. Miami Dolphins
            Caught 2 passes for 24 yards (targeted 5 times)
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            2 punt returns for 4 yards
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Preseason Game 3 vs. New York Jets
            No receiving opportunities
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            No punt return opportunities
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Preseason Game 4 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
            Caught 2 passes for 32 yards (targeted 6 times)
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunities
            No punt return opportunities
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Regular season vs. Tampa Bay (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. New Orleans (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. New York Giants (1 kickoff return for 21 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Atlanta (0-1 passing, caught 1 pass [targeted once] for 12 yards, no kickoff or punt return opportunities)

            Regular season vs. Seattle (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Dallas (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Chicago (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Washington (Caught 1 pass for 82 yards [targeted 1 time], otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Denver (Caught 1 pass for 9 yards [targeted 3 times], returned 2 kickoffs for 34 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Tampa Bay (no passes caught [targeted once], 2 kickoff returns for 50 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Philadelphia (5 kickoff returns for 114 yards, otherwise no opportunties receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Kansas City (Caught 1 pass [targeted once] for 11 yards, 2 kickoff returns for 41 yards, otherwise no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Atlanta (Caught 1 pass [targeted 2 times] for 7 yards, otherwise no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. San Diego (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. Oakland (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular season vs. New Orleans (2 punt returns for 77 yards, otherwise no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            In 2013, in an interview with Tom Sorensen of the Charlotte Observerat the end of training camp, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera declared that the “MVP” of training camp was…drumroll, please…Armanti Edwards. After preseason game 1 vs. the Chicago Bears, Rivera stated in his post-game press conference that Edwards had answered a lot of questions with his performance. Could he take a hit? Yes. Could he catch a pass in traffic? Yes. So his record of opportunities in this fourth and final year of his contract?

            Preseason Game 1 vs. Chicago Bears
            Caught 2 passes for 38 yards (targeted 2 times)
            No rushing opportunities
            No passing opportunties
            No punt return opportunities
            No kickoff return opportunities

            Preseason Game 2 vs. Philadelphia Eagles — INJURED, DID NOT PLAY

            Preseason Game 3 vs. Baltimore Ravens — INJURED, DID NOT PLAY

            Preseason Game 4 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers — INJURED, DID NOT PLAY

            Regular Season vs. Seattle (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular Season vs. Buffalo (no receptions [targeted 2 times], otherwise no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular Season vs. New York Giants (no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Regular Season vs. Arizona (no receptions [targeted 2 times after game was decided],otherwise no opportunties returning, receiving, passing or rushing)

            Gee, doesn’t look like too many development chances to me…..only a lot of NO opportunities returning, receiving, passing or running.

          • Jason Alston

            First, you can’t judge how many chances he got based on how many times he was targeted, because he’s not going to get targets if he can’t get open. And Armanti sucked at creating separation from defenders, and he’s not a big guy or a particularly strong guy in NFL terms so he’s not going to outphysical receivers either. A more accurate way to figure this out would be to take note of how many plays he was on the field, but even that’s not completely failproof because if it’s known that he can’t make plays, he’s not going to see the field much. If he was activated in games though, then that means that he had been given reps at practice naturally. And there’s nothing surprising about Armanti’s conversion, in fact he was worse at it than anyone who seriously attempted it who stuck in the league for more than a year. Randle El, Josh Cribbs, Edelman and a number other guys all caught passes before their third years, they were able to do more with the chances they got than Armanti. Now you are right, our incompetent former GM shouldn’t have drafted him so high. Shouldn’t have drafted him at all. Our new was a much better film analyst for in-game reviews that Hurney was and scrapped Armanti just 4 games into his Panthers GM tenure. He had no emotional or egotistical need to keep the lie going like Hurney did for 3 years. That’s why I’m confident in what I say. Gets makes few mistakes, he’s as good as any GM in the league IMO. If this guy had some value to the team, Gets wouldn’t have canned him because he wasn’t a distraction to the team otherwise. I guess we’ll just need to let this play out though. When you see that he’s not getting anywhere in Chicago either you will see what I mean.

          • rallypoint10

            Jason, we can agree to disagree on the “quality” of Armanti’s opportunities in Carolina to make the conversion. The number of times he was targeted is irrelevant, in a way, because he rarely saw the field. I 100% agree with you that he is not the new GM’s stereotypical player and the latter had no emotional attachment to AE’s being drafted so high in the first place. Given Mr. Gettleman’s background as tending to go after the stereotypical sized NFL player in his role with the Giants (at least that was my impression, accurate or not), I am surprised Armanti stayed long enough in 2013 for Rivera to describe him as the MVP of training camp. Whether or not you think he had ability, there was a feeling in the locker room that he was developing as one of their “secret weapons”. In his press conference after the preseason win last year vs. Chicago (during which Armanti was targeted twice and had two receptions), Cam was asked about the development of the offense and he replied something to the effect of, “Man, we have so many offensive weapons.” And the first example out of his mouth was the player he called “the silent assassin, Armanti Edwards”. But when I suggest that no one has yet figured out how to properly use Armanti, I mean that it isnt going to be strictly as a WR (and I think he was making good progress there) or as a PR (I think he would do better as a KR and you also have to understand that NOBODY was able to do anything as a PR with the special teams blocking schemes the Panthers were using during that period where Armanti was given a chance there), To properly find a way to use Armanti in an offense, you first have to accept the fact that he probably had the second-best arm on the Panthers team, behind Cam. He can throw long, short, and with touch. He just isn’t being given the chance there because, right or wrong, people make assumptions that his size precludes success at QB. But if you put the ball in his hands often enough with an option to run or pass, he will beat you. For the very few times the Panthers did that, I think he averaged 11-15 yard gains — which isn’t terrible, and I never understood why they didnt come back to it more often. Two seasons ago, he had one opportunity to pass long to Steve Smith against Atlanta. I didn’t see the game or any replays, but the people I know at the game said it looked like Smith just turned the wrong way and got his feet tangled. Fecal matter happens. Too bad he didnt get an opportunity to throw again. Anyway, I wish him luck in Chicago and a better opportunity to show his versatility. I lived in Chicago during the Jim McMahon, Walter Payton, Mike Ditka, Richard Dent, Mike Singletary days and got to meet or interview most of them. It is a great football town. Great city, period. Armanti is not going to beat you with size and physicality. Before the Michigan game, where he beat Michigan with more than size and physicality, I had an opportunity to see him play once before, in his freshman year. When he took the field, I said this guy doesnt look like much. Small, sort of gangly looking, but my opinion changed pretty quickly…You give him the ball enough times — and he will find a way to beat you. If Cam had half of Armanti’s heart, football intellect and instincts, character and humbleness, the Panthers would already have been in the Super Bowl during the last four years.

          • Jason Alston

            Yes we can agree to disagree but since you mentioned the pass to Steve Smith and what those people were saying about it, I will ask that you actually do read the dawgsbynature link that I had posted earlier. That explains EXACTLY what happened by someone who dissected the film, and it was Armanti’s fault. Not Smith’s. Seriously, please read that link. It’ll only take 5-10 minutes, it’s not long. As I mentioned before, the Public Relations overdrive for Armanti was ridiculous. That’s why people like Rivera, Hurney, and Cam are on record saying so much good stuff about him. I guess if you are not associated with App or the people in South Carolina, then you don’t understand the folk hero that this guy is. He was a money maker simply by being on the team, and so they kept that lie going when nothing he did merited the hype he received. He was NOT the camp MVP, but every time the organization had an opportunity to churn out propaganda about this kid, they did it. And like I said, people associated with the team were constantly boasting up Keary Colbert and Dwayne Jarrett in off-seasons as well. Jake Delhomme hyped up Jarrett every single year he was here.

    • Jason Alston

      Only an App fan would say that a guy was never given a chance when he stuck on a roster for over 3 years despite never doing anything besides catching a fluke 81-yard pass when he was wide open because CB DeAngelo Hall decided to move in on the running back instead covering the WR3 (and let it be known that the catch total is further inflated by a monster Steve Smith block after another defensive back effortlessly closed in on Armanti despite being elsewhere on the field originally). This guy is garbage and he doesn’t run, throw or catch on a pro-level. He was Hurney’s doll baby and given every opportunity to carve out a role in Carolina, he couldn’t do it. Then he was miserable in the couple of appearances he made in Cleveland before getting hurt. You mountaineers really need to give up on this delusion lest you always be disappointed. He’s only in Chi-Town now because Hixon got hurt, and he won’t be in Chi-Town long unless there’s a string of WR injuries, and the Bears better hope that doesn’t happen.