Aside from Tom Brady, the most consistent New England Patriot player over the past four seasons has been Julian Edelman. Edelman has been Brady’s favorite and most consistent target since 2013. In his last four seasons, Edelman has 356 receptions while accumulating 3,826 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also was the leader in most targeted wide receivers without an interception thrown with 146 targets.
But will Edelman remain a Patriot after this upcoming season even with numbers like that? Here are three reasons why he won’t be.
- He is an unrestricted free agent after this season.
Edelman is scheduled to make three million dollars in the last year of a four-year contract he signed back in 2014. The Patriots can easily let Edelman walk and give that money to Danny Amendola or a free agent of their choice. There are rumblings already about the thought of Julian Edelman walking.
With the way the Patriots treated Wes Welker when he was a free agent, it would not be a surprise if Julian Edelman received similar treatment.
2. He is 31 years old.
The average NFL career lasts three years. The fact that Edelman has been able to play for nine seasons in the NFL is nothing short of amazing. The Patriots have Brandin Cooks who is 23 years old, Malcolm Mitchell who is 24, and Chris Hogan who is 28. The Patriots could easily let Edelman walk and still have a talented receiving core in place for the 2018 season.
3. He has a history of injuries.
Although Edelman is consistent with his numbers, his health is something that has definitely not been consistent. Since his career started in 2009, he has only stayed healthy for a full season twice; once in 2013 and again in 2016. His injuries have ranged all over the body from a fracture in his left foot that made him miss the 2nd half of the 2015 season to having multiple concussions in both the 2012 and 2014 regular seasons. Letting Edelman sign elsewhere in free agency takes away the pressure of having to fill his role if he were to be injured again.
Hopefully the Patriots will be able to keep Edelman. Not only is he loved on the field, he is loved by the Patriot community as well.
He knows what is takes to truly get the most out of being a New England Patriot. Hopefully he and his agent can compromise on a contract with the Patriots that is definitely well earned. For now, Julian Edelman can enjoy free donut day and worry about his contract after the 2017 season.