Ex-Patriots WR Julian Edelman on NFL comeback: 'We'll see'
Is Julian Edelman ready to ditch retirement for another go in the NFL?
The former New England Patriots wideout sparked comeback rumors after his remarks on the latest episode of the "I AM ATHLETE" podcast, saying "we'll see" when asked if he'd seriously consider returning to the NFL.
"The amount of work I have to put into my body to train, to make me confident — like, that’s so much for the output because of the injuries, my knees, this, that. I’m not getting the same output," Edelman said. "So now that I’ve taken a year off, and I’m not loading my body and compounding loads every single day, my body feels pretty straight, you know?"
Edelman retired in 2021 after 11 seasons — all with New England — with three Super Bowl titles and a Super Bowl MVP. In his final season, he dealt with a persistent knee injury that required minor surgery during the season, which played a significant role in his decision to retire.
Edelman officially announced his retirement in April 2021, just over an hour after the Patriots terminated his contract due to a failed physical.
Nevertheless, the 36-year-old thinks he might have what it takes with his knee injury seemingly behind him.
"I’ve gone and dabbled, and you go run routes. But then, you see when you run routes, the next day, like, all right, I’m not too bad, but I’m already like 10,000 reps behind I feel in my mind," Edelman added.
"If I wanna ball, I'm gonna have to go out and do it consistently time and time again."
It makes sense that Edelman might be thinking about getting on the field again after watching former teammate Rob Gronkowski come out of retirement to post two successful seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, including a Super Bowl title in 2020. What's more, Edelman's former quarterback and friend Tom Brady just came out of retirement earlier this year.
That said, Edelman made it clear he wouldn't be interested in heading down south.
"Who said I would go to the Buccaneers? If I were to ever come back, I would wanna come back as a Pat, probably. Be part of that," Edelman said.
Edelman and Brady were one of the greatest duos in the league during their shared time in New England. Edelman, an ultra-reliable pass-catcher, reeled in 599 of Brady's passes for 6,507 yards and 36 touchdowns from 2009-2019. Edelman's 620 career receptions rank second in team history behind Wes Welker (672). He also has the second-most postseason receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,442) in NFL history, trailing only Jerry Rice.
He appeared in just six games in 2020, catching 21 passes for 315 yards, before calling it a career.
Could an Edelman revival be coming?