New England Patriots Rumors: Julian Edelman teases potential return

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports /

The New England Patriots roster is, for the most part, already in place. Trades and some under-the-radar free agent moves could still be made, but the 53-man roster is most likely going to consist of a group of players currently on the roster.

Of course, a roster spot could open up for the potential return of a team legend by the name of Julian Edelman. Edelman recently teased the possibility of a return to football, saying that he’s staying in shape, and if he would return, it would be with the Patriots rather than potentially reuniting with Tom Brady on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

"“I don’t know, we’ll see. That’s called a little teaser. We’ll see. We’re staying in shape but you never know. But I’d probably go back to the Patriots. I love the Patriots. Foxborough Forever.” – Julian Edelman, Sunset Sports Media Festival"

Could Julian Edelman help the New England Patriots offense improve in 2022?

Edelman’s comments certainly caught some attention for a couple of reasons. For starters, it shows that football is still on his mind, and he’s been staying in shape in case he eventually wants to return to the field. And secondly, he ruled out a potentially reunion with Brady in Florida that everyone has been clamoring to see ever since he retired.

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Edelman developed himself into one of the best slot receivers in NFL history during his career with the Pats. He was Brady’s go-to target during the second half of their dynasty, and he played an instrumental role in helping New England bring home their three most recent Lombardi trophies.

And given how the Patriots offense functioned last season, it’s clear they could use some more playmakers, especially at wide receiver. They traded for Devante Parker and drafted Tyquan Thornton, but it remains to be seen if that will be enough to help Mac Jones and the rest of the offense take the next step forward.

The big question here is whether or not Edelman can actually play football still. His body pretty much shut down in 2020, and he was forced to retire because of a chronic knee injury that wasn’t getting any better. Has that changed over the past year and a half?

The potential return of Edelman would obviously be exciting, but there’s no guarantee that it will happen at this stage of the game. And even if it were to happen, there’s no guarantee he would be productive on the field. He was stil productive early in that lost 2020 season, as he had eight catches for 179 yards in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks, but that was pretty much the last we saw of Edelman.

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The New England Patriots are absolutely not going to bank on Edelman’s return given how he went out, and even if he does return, it would be an uphill battle for him. But if he proves he can still play, he could be just what the Patriots need on offense this season.