Patriots: Latest Julian Edelman update won’t make you confident for 2021
By Jerry Trotta
It sure doesn’t seem like Julian Edelman will return to the Patriots next season.
Given that the New England Patriots have nothing to play for in the final week and would be better off losing in order to improve their draft position, there would really be no point bringing back players who have spent the last several weeks shelved with injuries.
It goes without saying that wideout Julian Edelman falls under that category and Bill Belichick confirmed on Friday that his season is over. On top of that, the 68-year-old was asked about whether Edelman suffered a setback and if he’d return next season.
We hate to dampen the mood now that 2020 is officially a thing of the past, but his answer won’t exactly inspire confidence among the fan base.
We wouldn’t look too much into the comments about Edelman’s recovery. Not only is he 34 years old, but he just wrapped up his 12th season in the league. His body probably isn’t capable of making it back from knee surgery as quick as it once could. And with the Patriots free-falling over the last handful of games, shutting him down makes perfect sense.
With that being said, however, Edelman’s inability to return within the expected timetable could no doubt play a factor in the Patriots’ decision to bring him back in 2021. He’s technically signed through next season, but his contract contains a potential out following this year, meaning it isn’t a guarantee he’ll be with the team (assuming he doesn’t retire).
We hate to even bring this up considering everything Edelman has given to the franchise over his esteemed career. However, his contract comes with just $2.6 million in dead cap for next season, so the Patriots, who will have close to $67 million in salary cap space, could cut or trade him without breaking much of a sweat.
Again, one dubious comment doesn’t confirm anything, but at this rate it would be surprising if the former seventh-round pick was with the Patriots in 2021.