Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman played in just six games in 2020 thanks to a knee injury, and there has been plenty of speculation that the three-time Super Bowl champ will elect to call it a career. But it doesn’t sound as if he’s contemplating retirement just yet.
In a recent interview on Barstool Sports’ “Pardon My Take” podcast (h/t Doug Kyed of NESN.com), Edelman was asked if he would “reconsider” his decision to retire. Edelman replied, “What are you talking about? Right now we’re being a dad right now and we’re sitting back and training, getting our body right for the next year.”
Of course, his reference to getting his body right for next year is hardly a definitive declaration that he will return to the field, especially since he later said he is just “decompressing” for the time being and doesn’t “necessarily” know what the interviewer meant when he brought up the topic of retirement. Nonetheless, Kyed believes all signs are pointing towards an Edelman return.
The Patriots’ receiving corps left much to be desired in 2020, and Edelman’s absence made an already bleak situation even worse. So while the Pats could cut their franchise icon and save $4MM of cap space in the process, one would think that if Edelman wants to play, New England will be happy to have him, even if his age and the wear-and-tear on his body force him into a more limited role. Plus, the club will already be flush with cap space, so the extra $4MM it would save with an Edelman release probably wouldn’t be worth it.
The Pats could use some of their cap room to sign a free agent wideout or two, as the market is likely to have a few appealing options. Players like Kenny Golladay and Chris Godwin could get hit with the franchise tag or sign extensions with their current clubs before free agency opens, but a decrease in the salary cap might make that more difficult. Meanwhile, Allen Robinson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Corey Davis might all be marketing their services in March.
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