The Falcons released underperforming defensive end Ray Edwards late Monday night, less than two seasons into his five-year contract. Edwards played 25 games for the Falcons but started just four this season as his role diminished in Mike Nolan’s defense.

In 25 games, Edwards recorded just 42 tackles, but more importantly, was nowhere near the pass-rusher the Falcons expected him to be when they guaranteed him $11 million as part of a five-year contract. He had just 3.5 sacks, all of which came last season. After recording back-to-back seasons of at least eight sacks in Minnesota in 2009 and 2010, Atlanta signed him in 2011 and expected him to fortify a defensive line already featuring John Abraham.

This season, Kroy Biermann, a relentless pass-rusher who’s also capable of dropping into coverage, has largely replaced Edwards. In his final three games, Edwards played 22 percent of defensive snaps while Biermann played 70 percent. Over that time, Edwards had just one tackle while Biermann made 12 stops and a sack.

Biermann’s versatility is what gave him the edge over Edwards. On numerous occasions, Nolan has lined Biermann up on the edge and shown blitz, only to have him drop far back into coverage on the same level as the cornerbacks. As long as Biermann continues to show effort and solid tackling technique, expect him to be a fixture along the line the rest of the season.

Edwards’ release may have been a subtle wakeup call to a team coming off of its first loss. But the more likely scenario is that Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff needed more production out of Edwards to justify his acquisition.

Pre-game chirping: New Orleans LB <player idref= told Yahoo Sports that two Falcons players -- later reported to be Sean Weatherspoon and Jonathan Babineaux -- interfered with the Saints’ pre-game warm-ups before the start of Sunday’s game. Specifically, Shanle said, the players were talking trash to LB Curtis Lofton, who left the Falcons this offseason to play for the Saints.

“They were just walking all over our drills and trying to mess with him,” Shanle said. “[Jonathan] Vilma went and told their coach it was classless and they didn’t even say anything. It set the tone for the day. It was classless and they got what they deserved.”

Before leaving Atlanta, Lofton said he thought the Saints had a better chance than the Falcons of winning the Super Bowl and that he wanted to play for a team with "true fans." Perhaps his comments incited some animosity among the Falcon players.

Aside from the bounty scandal the Saints are mired in, they have a long history of questionable decisions with regard to their relationship with the Falcons. These two teams meet again Nov. 29 in Atlanta and you can be sure this petty back-and-forth banter will come up again.

For more Falcons coverage, follow Mike Singer @CBSFalcons.