Ray Edwards had 'minor' knee surgery

Defensive end Ray Edwards, the crown jewel of free agency for the Atlanta Falcons, will miss the preseason opener Friday, coach Mike Smith said Wednesday.

Smith said Edwards had knee surgery sometime during the lockout and isn't quite ready to participate in a game. Smith said it was a "minor procedure" and Edwards wasn't around to elaborate.

"We are bringing him along slowly," Smith said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Edwards was signed away from the Minnesota Vikings with a five-year deal worth $27.25 million, and the Falcons view him as an explosive pass-rusher who will team with John Abraham to put more pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

Edwards recorded 16½ sacks the past two seasons in Minnesota, despite sharing the spotlight with talented Vikings defensive end Jared Allen.

Pat Yasinskas covers the NFC South for ESPN.com.