Trent Edwards biding time in Oakland

August, 18, 2014
Aug 18
10:00
AM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Every now and then a dangerous thought will creep into Trent Edwards' head. It's the one that feels more like a Lane Kiffin fever dream from 2007 than reality, and yet ...

It's the one with Kiffin's fingerprints all over it, where Kiffin, actually believing he had autonomy over football decisions when Al Davis was still running things, was able to pull off a draft plan with an eye to the future.

In it, Kiffin would have used the No. 1 overall pick on a receiver out of Georgia Tech, big guy by the name of Calvin Johnson. Then Kiffin would have gone after Edwards out of Stanford in the second or third round and started to build an offense in his own image.

Edwards
Instead, the Raiders selected JaMarcus Russell and then tight end Zach Miller in the second round. Edwards went to the Buffalo Bills in the third round.

"I definitely think about it; it's crossed my mind a few times, but I'm not one of those people that sit up at night and play the coulda, woulda, shoulda game -- what would have been if I had been drafted by Oakland, or stayed here in 2011?" Edwards said recently.

"I just have too many other things going on in my life, football included, that I just am one of those glass-half full type of people that I'm very optimistic with what I have going for me in the future and I don't really look back too much."

Now, this is not an endorsement of Kiffin's plan -- Davis later said Kiffin also wanted to use that No. 1 pick on Notre Dame's Brady Quinn -- because it's no guarantee an Edwards-Megatron connection would have bloomed under Raiders short-timer Kiffin anyway.

Consider this: Since that 2007 draft, when the Raiders chose Russell, who became the biggest draft bust in NFL history, over Johnson, who is on his way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Oakland has had a better overall record than the Lions, 38-74 (.339) to 36-76 (.321).

The storyline just drips with so much irony because, as Edwards mentioned, he chose to return to Oakland after being "terminated" as a vested veteran by the Raiders in 2011.

And Edwards, who has taken few snaps in camp and is behind starter Matt Schaub, second-round draft pick Derek Carr and second-year player Matt McGloin, has little to no chance to making the Oakland Raiders' initial 53-man roster.

Still, Edwards feels he is not done -- he was in the same situation in Philadelphia two years ago but eventually made the team and started a game -- and is contributing in the QB room.

"Here's another veteran guy, he hasn't gotten many reps but he's been in all the meetings," said coach Dennis Allen. "He has experience. I think he does a good job of somewhat being a sounding board for some of those quarterbacks. I just think his demeanor and the way he goes about doing his job has been a positive in that quarterback room.

"I'm glad we have him and I think he's been a good addition to our team."

With the Eagles, Edwards was also the token veteran.

"They drafted Nick Foles, had Michael Vick and they had Mike Kafka," Edwards said. "I was the (fourth-stringer). I sat there all camp. Some breaks went my way, I played well in some preseason games and I ended up making the 53-man roster."

Now, with Carr nursing sore ribs and a concussion, might a similar opportunity present itself? It's unlikely, but stranger things have happened. He was the last man on the team bus Wednesday in Oxnard, visiting with friends and fans on the opposite side of the field after practice, as if he was trying to soak it all in, one last time.

A ball boy had to sprint across the field to get him, a day after Edwards approached Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda for a picture.

"I'm just honestly trying to keep myself up to speed, where my game needs to be, but also help the other guys around me," Edwards said "I feel like I've played in the league long enough to know a few of the ins and outs and I'm in a veteran role where I can help out the other guys around me. And I'm learning a lot from Matt Schaub as well.

"Trying to stay in it and then just being ready if my time's called."

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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