When I started writing DOL five years ago, Julian Edelman only had one Super Bowl ring. Now he has three, and after 12 seasons with the New England Patriots, the 2009 7th round pick out of Kent State is calling it a career. The wheels finally fell off for ole #11.
I was fake napping at my grandma's (laying down with my eyes closed while still awake) not touching my phone, so I missed all the breaking news tweets in real-time, but here's my *immediate reaction* to the Patriots "cutting" Julian Edelman.
I know "It'S a BuSiNeSs," but after everything Jules accomplished as a Patriot, I figured he'd get the Tedy Bruschi treatment and be allowed to retire before the club cut him like the tendons on a chicken breast (I recently made homemade chicken tenders with my air fryer all by myself with the help of my mom, nbd).
We all know Belichick likes to manipulate the system; it looks like cutting him was actually beneficial to #11! (please read in a NoHo Hank voice).
I just mentioned Tedy Bruschi in 2009, but you may not remember during that preseason, way back in the days of "how is Brady going to look coming back from a torn ACL?" that Julian Edelman returned a punt for a touchdown against the Eagles in a Wally Pip situation; something he'd do four times when games actually count (Patriots team record). Of course, Ernie Adams knew who Wally Pip was.
If you don't know Julian's story, you must've been actively avoiding it because he will tell you. The dude made a documentary about coming back from a torn ACL like he was the first man to undergo open-heart surgery, but seriously, I love Jules. He got every ounce of production he could get out of his 5'10" frame. The dude balled out, but currently has the knees of a Civil War soldier. Jules was a QB in the MAC who threw more INT than TD, was taken as a 7th round flyer, and ended up with his name scattered across the New England Patriots record books en route to three Super Bowl rings. Even if you hate the Patriots, you have to respect the career Julian Edelman put together.
Over 12 seasons (11 on the field, he missed all of 2017 after tearing his ACL against the Lions in the preseason), Edelman had 620 receptions for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. The regular season numbers don't even tell the entire story. Jules might've been a Patriot for 12 seasons, but he was virtually unused as a pass-catcher in 2010 or 2011 (11 total receptions) after putting up a respectable 37 receptions for 359 yards and a TD (he scored two touchdowns in the Patriots Wild Card loss to the Ravens) his rookie year. The bulk of that production came from 2013-2016; 2018-2019, and he missed seven games in 2015. Last season, Edelman showed glimpses of the guy he used to be before missing 10 games due to injuries. He actually had his career high for receiving yards in a game (179 yards) and one of the best catches of his career.
Until 2013, Edelman was a true utility man for the Patriots. He played special teams, returned kickoffs, punts, moonlighted as a dime package corner (playing serious late downs in the 2011 AFC Championship game), and yes, even played a little WR.
After Wes Welker left in the free agency following the 2012 season, everybody assumed Danny Amendola was going to slide into his role, but Jules stole the show week one (although Danny did have 100 yards) catching seven of nine targets for 79 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 23-21 win @ Buffalo.
2013 was Edelman's breakout season. 105 receptions for 1,056 yards and 6 touchdowns. While Edelman would only record three 1,000 yard seasons in New England (2016 & 2019), he was like three catches away in 2014 (972 yards on 92 receptions in only 14 games), had his best statistical season through nine games (and nine wins) in 2015 (61 receptions, 692 yards, and 7 touchdowns) and in 2018 he had 850 yards in 12 games which would've been well over 1,000 yards if he wasn't *missing* for the first four weeks of the year. Edelman was an elite slot receiver when healthy.
Of course, the playoffs are where Julian Edelman etched his name in the NFL History Books. In 19 career playoff games (I won't even cherry-pick and tell you that he wasn't even part of the passing game for four of them), Edelman recorded 118 receptions for 1,442 yards and 5 touchdowns. He's 2nd all-time in playoff receptions and receiving yards behind only Jerry Rice and ICYMI; he took Jerry's daughter to his prom in some eerie-ass full-circle shit.
It's not only the counting numbers, but it's the iconic moments. Sure, I'm biased, but I'd say Edelman has the biggest catch of the 2010s and probably the most famous non-QB pass after the Philly Special. Plus, you cannot debate he scored the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX.
It's almost midnight and I've gotta proctor fucking PSATS tomorrow. Jules deserves more love from Ole Dozo. Julian had an unreal work ethic and embraced being a part of the Boston sports community. I'll debate whether or not Edelman deserves recognition from Canton, Ohio later, but Robert Kraft and Bill Belichick had nothing but great things to say about one of the greatest/most important players to ever don a Patriots uniform. Belichick's praises speak volumes. Super Bowls > Pro Bowls.
Alexa, play "no tears left to cry."
Jules was King Hardo, especially in the moments following James White game-winning touchdown in OT of Super Bowl LI, but he was our Hardo. This is one of my all time favorite Jules chirps.