Julian Edelman might just come out of retirement, but he’s narrowing it down to just one team.
The former Super Bowl MVP previously left the idea open on a possible return, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers being mentioned as a potential spot due to Tom Brady. However, Edelman is now saying that if he did return, it would only be with the New England Patriots.
“Honestly, realistically, no,” Edelman said on possibly playing somewhere outside of New England. “I can’t see myself playing anywhere else. That’s how I feel right now.”
During an interview on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast back in June, Edelman addressed the idea of him playing for the Buccaneers, where his former teammate Tom Brady currently plays.
“Who said I would go to the Buccaneers?” Edelman said of the Bucs rumors. “Maybe there’s a couple of other teams. …If I would ever come back, I would want to come back as a Pat, probably, be part of that.”
Edelman Retired Due to Failed Physical
Edelman clarified that the Patriots hadn’t reached out or offered him anything. The 36-year-old receiver last played during the 2020 season, appearing in just six games. Edelman retired following a failed physical after undergoing knee surgery during his final season.
“The Pats haven’t offered me anything, I’m not coming back like that …and I would love to play with Brady, too, though, you know what I mean,” Edelman explained. “They [Tampa Bay] got too many hands to feed out there.”
During his prime, Edelman was the top slot receiver in the league. Along with Rob Gronkowski, Edelman was Brady’s favorite target for years. Edelman notched three 1,000-yard seasons between 2013 and 2019 along with four 92-plus reception seasons. His consistent production landed him on the NFL’s Top 100 Players list four out of five years between 2015 and 2019.
The 11-year veteran stated back in June that if given several weeks to train and get ready, Edelman could make a return during the 2022 season.
“I’ll tell you right now, if I had three weeks, three maybe four weeks, start of the season, absolutely not,” Edelman said. “But if there’s a team vying for a playoff run, guy goes down, could I get ready? I mean, I probably could.”
Buccaneers Too Loaded at Receiver to Sign Edelman
While Edelman might be able to make a return, the Buccaneers would have little use for him. Tampa Bay currently has Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage and Julio Jones as its top four receiver. Jones is arguably the best receiver of the 2010’s and is considered the No. 4 receiver on the Buccaneers.
Outside of the big four is returner Jaelon Darden, Breshad Perriman and Scotty Miller, who is eerily similar in stature (5-foot-9) and ability when compared to Edelman (5-foot-10). The Buccaneers were so loaded at receiver that they were forced to release a key member of last year’s team in Tyler Johnson.
The idea of Edelman joining the Buccaneers was a slim idea before he ruled them out. While it would be nice to see Brady and Edelman reunite one last time before both players call it a career, it looks like it won’t happen in Tampa Bay.