Former New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman was featured on Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson’s podcast, All the Smoke. Edelman is beloved in Boston for his efforts with the Patriots, however, who would have thought the Boston Celtics would embrace him as much as they did. During Edelman’s suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performing-enhancing substances, in 2017, he attempted to maintain his routine. However, the league rules state that the player once suspended must not have access to any of the facilities. Edelman attempted to counteract this rule by simply working out and staying in shape at another professional team’s facilities.
“Pretty cool story here from Julian Edelman,” NESN’s reporter Keagan Stiefel tweeted. During his suspension back in 2017, the Celtics let him use their facilities to keep his routine and workout. They even gave him a locker. (via @SHOsports)”
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Edelman throughout the interview, mentions how he bonded with the Celtic players and how they embraced him as one of their own. In fact, he was even given his own locker throughout his four weeks there. He spoke about how hard the guy worked but in particular him being impressed and excited with Celtic’s PG Marcus Smart. Recently, Smart has died his hair green, and goes by the “Green Goblin”. Similarly, to what the Patriot’s second-year CB Jalen Mills likes to go by, as well.
“He’s the first guard to win the DPOY since Gary Payton” Edelman stated during the podcast.
Julian Edelman Embraces his Punishment
In 2018, he addressed the situation head-on, instead of, running away from it like most. Tons of Patriots fans then were saddened by the news, however, many respected his approach to the situation. Edelman attempted to speed his recovery from his knee injury and blatantly violated the NFL policies. At the time, he understood he was an aging WR and knew the competition was fierce. However, coming off an injury and still wanting to perform at the top of his game prompted him to do so illegally.
“Obviously, you’re disappointed with it, but I got to follow the protocols a little better and make sure this never happens again,” reported Mike Reiss for ESPN in 2018. “I’m accountable for my actions.”
“Ultimately, my focus now is getting my knee right and going out and trying to play football at a high level,” Edelman said. “It was a helluva year to just sit and watch your team go to a Super Bowl and play without you and you’re on the couch. It was tough. But I’m excited to be out here, and I’m excited to work my game.”
Future Patriots WRs Attempt to Emulate Edelman’s Success
While the New England Patriots look much different than they did when Edelman was there, they still have talent in that locker room with endless potential. Patriots QB Mac Jones is looking to prepare for his sophomore season in the NFL alongside the Patriot’s latest FA signings DeVante Parker, Nelson Aghalor, and Kendrick Bourne. Not to mention, the Patriots drafted the fastest WR in the draft, Tyquan Thornton, from Baylor University. Many often forget about the pandemic season hero, Jacobi Meyers, an undrafted FA out of North Carolina State.
The talent the Patriots have access to has endless potential, however, can they prove to be as effective as Edelman has proven to be within his tenure with the Patriots.