Trent Edwards was the 92nd overall pick by the Buffalo Bills, in the 2007 NFL draft out of Stanford. Edwards went into the season as the backup to J.P. Losman, but saw his 1st action in the 3rd game of the season, when Losman left with an injury. The following week Edwards made his 1st career start against the New York Jets. His stats for this game read 22-28 234 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but most importantly he led the Bills to a win.
Edwards maintained his starting position until an injury in week 8 sidelined him, and Losman was able to retake his position. Losman looked shaky at best the next few weeks and by week 13, Edwards had once again claimed the starting quarterback position. By the end of the season he had cemented himself as the Bills starting quarterback of the future, and had also made the all-rookie team while at it.
The following season was up and down for Edwards and company. Buffalo started the season 5-1 but quickly faded fast as injuries forced Edwards to miss significant playing time. The next year, 2009, was an even worse season than the previous for Edwards and the Bills. Injuries, inconsistent play, and negative interactions with players such as Terrell Owens led to another bust for the Bills. With 7 games remaining in the season, Ryan Fitzpatrick became the starter, and the Trent Edwards era in Buffalo was all but over. After his benching, Edwards only threw 2 more passes the rest of the season.
In 2010, Edwards showed promise in the preseason and won the job outright, but was again benched in favor of Fitzpatrick just 2 games into the season and he was subsequently waived. The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed him off waivers and he spent the rest of the season backing up David Garrard. Edwards hit free agency the following year and was signed by the Raiders only to be cut before the season started.
The Philadelphia Eagles brought Edwards into their 2012 training camp as a 4th quarterback and roster filler. With Michael Vick entrenched as the starter, Mike Kafka the backup and 3rd round rookie Nick Foles ahead on the depth chart; it looked as though Edwards chances of even making the regular season roster were slim to none.
The first preseason game saw Edwards throw for 106 yards on 12-20 for a touchdown and led a game-winning field goal drive. More importantly however, is that backup Mike Kafka threw 9 passes in that game but wouldn’t throw another one the rest of the preseason due to injury. Week 2 saw a slight drop off in Edwards’ production where he went 6-11 for 59 yards. The major star of the game turned out to be rookie Nick Foles, who took over for an injured Mike Vick, and threw for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The depth chart heading into the all-important 3rd game read Vick, the injured Kafka, the rookie Foles, and Edwards still on the outside looking in. Game 3 against Cleveland saw Eagles quarterbacks Nick Foles and Trent Edwards dominate the Browns defense. Foles went 12-19 for 146 yards and 2 TDs, while Edwards went 14-17 for 127 yards and 1 TD. This showing led many to speculate that Foles had surpassed Kafka on the depth chart and Edwards may have done the same as well. Two days before the final preseason game Andy Reid declared Nick Foles the number 2, saying he is the top backup quarterback “right now.”
This left only one quarterback spot remaining heading into the final game of the season. Foles started the game and played the 1st quarter while Edwards got the opportunity to play the final 3 and make a lasting impression on the Eagles coaching staff. The final line read 22-32 for 197 yards and 2 TDs in an Eagles rout of the Jets. Many wondered if this performance, no matter how solid, was able to supplant Kafka, who was the backup going into the season. Final roster cuts were made on Friday and headlining that list, besides Joselio Hansen, was the former Northwestern Wildcat Mike Kafka.
Edwards had officially made the squad; a year removed from being cut by the Oakland Raiders and spending the rest of the season wondering if he still had a chance in this league. The NFL is a cutthroat business and players come and go. Stars can go from starters, to backups, to fill in’s, to out of the league in a blink of the eye.
Trent Edwards is the exception not the rule, and it’s wonderful to have witnessed a player that was on his way out claw his way back, at least for one more season.