Julian Edelman perfect for Mac Jones, New England Patriots offense

New England Patriots (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
New England Patriots (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images) /

How much better would this New England Patriots offense be if they had a healthy Julian Edelman in the mix.

With the efficiency of Mac Jones in the short passing game, a player like Edelman would feast in the middle of the field. That quickness and tenacity that made the retired 34-year-old Patriots legend the clutch player he was would only make the rookie quarterback that much better.

Not to take anything away from Jakobi Meyers and Kendrick Bourne, who has been Jones’ top wide receiver targets, but having a player like Edelman in the slot would elevate the Patriots’ offense because of how his presence would impact the rest of the offense. Yes, even at the age of 34.

While his broken-down knees forced him into retirement prior to the offseason, he does have over a year of rehabilitating those knees. So, if Edelman has that itch to play, could he be lured out of retirement for the final stretch of the season and into the playoffs? According to one ex-Patriots wide receiver, that itch is there.

Former New England Patriots wide receiver believes Julian Edelman has the itch to return

Appearing on the Zach Gelb Show last week, Deion Branch got the speculation rolling, given his opinion of Julian Edelman and any aspirations that he would return to the game of football this season.

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"“I’m sure Julian probably does have that itch. It’s just all about how he feels,” Branch said, as transcribed by WEEI. “That’s the most important thing. Knowing Jules, he’s probably still like, ‘Nah, I’m good.’  But I do know deep down inside, this guy is a competitor, and he’d love to be out there making plays and helping these guys.”"

With the way the Patriots’ defense has been playing during the team’s current five-game winning streak, Mac Jones and the offense has been doing enough. With a running back trio of Damien Harris, Rhamondre Stevenson and Brandon Bolden punishing opposing defenses and playmakers like Hunter Henry, Meyers and Bourne giving Jones reliable outlets, the Patriots’ offense has enough to get it done, more than enough if Jonnu Smith, Nelson Agholor and N’Keal Harry get going on a consistent basis. But it is hard not to imagine the possibility of Edelman joining that mix.

That is what Branch is envisioning to when he thinks about the direction of the offense going forward. If it was up to him, he would tell Edelman to return. But, ultimately, it’s about how Edelman’s body feels and whether he feels he can endure the physicality of the NFL for even a short season for him.

In summary, it’s funny that the talk is about Edelman coming out of retirement to return to the New England Patriots.

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Prior to the season, that talk, and speculation centered around him eventually joining his pals Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But, with how Mac Jones has progressed and how the Patriots are looking, the best situation for Edelman if he decides to scratch that itch is the very place, he played his entire career.

Think about how easy an insertion he would be. He knows the playbook, he knows the locker room, he knows the coaches and most importantly, he knows how to help a quarterback like Mac Jones. He would be perfect for the New England Patriots offense, even at the age of 34.