Julian Edelman has been a Patriot since 2009, but the soon-to-be 34-year-old might be leaving New England if Bill Belichick thinks he’s not of value.
Montana to Rice, Aikman to Irvin, Manning to Harrison … and Brady to Edelman.
Julian Edelman has been catching passes from Tom Brady since he was drafted into the league in 2009. Edelman was able to make the team as a seventh round draft pick. He caught the attention of Bill Belichick in a preseason game when Edelman returned a punt for a touchdown.
Belichick was “mic’d up” and was caught saying to Wes Welker, “Ever hear of Wally Pipp?” Wally Pipp was the man who played first base before Lou Gherig. Pipp missed a game with a headache, Gherig stepped in, and … well, the rest was history.
As it turned out, Edelman did in fact play the role of Gherig by eventually becoming Welker 2.0, and winning three championships to Welker’s zero.
Edelman has the second-most postseason catches of all time, has won three championships, and is a Super Bowl MVP. When Edelman was not on the field for the Patriots last season, their offense noticeably suffered.
In 2015, the Patriots were 9-0 with Edelman — then he broke his foot and the team finished 3-4 down the stretch.
In 2018, Edelman missed four games due to a suspension and New England’s offense looked terrible, going 2-2. Edelman returned and New England won the Super Bowl, and Edelman himself won MVP.
However, he is turning 34, he has a long history of injuries, and all of his accomplishments were done with Tom Brady throwing him the ball.
This begs the question: Should the Patriots try and trade Julian Edelman?
On April 1, Bill Simmons went on The Colin Cowherd Show and said that Edelman was going to Detroit. Simmons said that he saw a tweet that wrote Edelman was heading to Detroit in a trade. He later realized that it was an April Fools’ prank that he fell for.
So, we know Edelman isn’t going to Detroit, but could he go rejoin his best friend, Tom Brady, in Tampa Bay?
From Bill Belichick’s perspective, he only wants players on his team that he believes he is getting for a good value, often paying far less than what other teams would for that player. Edelman’s cap hit for the 2020 season will be $9.67 million.
Is that too high for a 34-year-old receiver that will continue to get beaten up over the course of the season?
With the Patriots letting so many of their talented players walk this offseason — such as Brady, Phillip Dorsett, Kyle Van Noy, Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts, Nate Ebner, Stephen Gostkowski, Ted Karras, and Duron Harmon — are the Patriots really poised to make a run in 2020?
My guess is no, and it looks like Belichick is planning a mini-reload this season. If that is the case, I can see Edelman being traded while his value is still high. Who knows what the receiver’s numbers will look like in a season playing without Tom Brady?
A win-win trade scenario for both the Patriots and Edelman would be to trade him to the Buccaneers for draft picks. Edelman gets to continue playing with Brady where he will likely have another productive season, and the Patriots can continue to stockpile draft picks and free up cap space.
With Jarrett Stidham at the helm in New England for 2020, I don’t see a 12-4 football team — or even a football team that wins the AFC East with the Buffalo Bills surging.
However, I don’t believe Edelman will be leaving the Patriots either. He posted a picture on Instagram on March 24 saying “Foxborough Forever.”
Then again, Brady tweeted something saying “Forever a Patriot,” and we all know how that turned out.
Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports believes Edelman will remain a Patriot, saying he talked to a league source that said “not a chance in hell” that Edelman gets traded.
Julian Edelman he is the Squirrel, the Iron Man, Incredelman, and Jules … but most importantly, he is a three-time champion, and he is a Patriot … for now.