Patriots: 3 offensive weapons who disappeared too quickly
By Adam Weinrib
1. RB Robert Edwards
Robert Edwards had the worst break of any Patriots back.
Robert Edwards, selected out of Georgia with the 18th overall pick in 1998, had a rookie season to behold.
The 24-year-old piled up 1,115 yards and nine touchdowns out of the backfield, and picked up another 331 receiving yards, and three additional scores. That’s not just an exemplary rookie season; that placed Edwards on a game-changing trajectory to rival the league’s top backs.
Disastrously, what was supposed to be a reward for his exceptional season changed his life forever. During a flag football game on the beach as part of the NFL’s Pro Bowl celebration, Edwards blew out his knee to the point where he narrowly avoided amputation, and was told he may never walk again.
Against all odds, he came back with the Miami Dolphins briefly in 2002, and bounced around the CFL until his career ended. Instead of being a star running back on the 2001 Super Bowl champions, Edwards became merely a cautionary tale about what not to do surrounding the Pro Bowl.
He helped change NFL policy, but he did not change the game. It’s still a terrible shame.