Tom Brady Jokes or Hints at Star Receiver’s Future in Instagram Exchange

Tom Brady and Julian Edelman

Getty Tom Brady and Julian Edelman celebrate a Super Bowl win.

Maybe there’s still a chance that Tom Brady talks Julian Edelman into joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this fall or later.

Brady referred to Edelman as a free agent in an Instagram exchange despite the recent retirement of the former New England Patriots wide receiver. Edelman gave Brady a hard time about his numbers rule change rant and suggested the number pi for him. CBS Sports Boston captured the Instagram story, which displayed Brady in a new jersey number.

“12 is so 2001, (but) pi is eternal, just like you buddy,” Edelman wrote.

Brady replied with “now that you are a free agent @edelman11, are you buttering me up??”

Brady, who obviously won’t play football forever, but he has already lured an old teammate out of retirement before — Rob Gronkowski. Edelman, however, just retired after playing only six games in 2021 due to ongoing knee issues.

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Gronkowski “Feels Real Good” Now

Gronkowski also dealt with injuries upon his first retirement after the 2018 season as he seldom played a full season due to various injuries.

He spent a year away from football in retirement before reuniting with Brady in Tampa. Brady encouraged him to come out of retirement after signing as a free agent with the Bucs.

Gronkowski played a full season for the Bucs and caught 45 passes for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. He talked about feeling great after this past season.

“I feel like I could play another full season right now if it started,” Gronkowski said in a March 22 press conference. “So, I feel real good. Everything I’ve changed throughout my career is definitely paying off, and it feels great. I feel light. I feel flexible. I feel like I can go out just play some football and just go out and not be thinking — just play football and run routes and do what I’ve gotta do out there on the field.”

Edelman Said “the Wheels Finally Fell Off”

Edelman showed some durability in his career but played in all 16 games only three times in his career. That included the 2019 season, but The Athletic’s Jeff Howe reported early in 2020 that Edelman played with numerous injuries.

It didn’t get better for Edelman during the 2020 season as he only lasted through September before landing on injured reserve on Oct. 31 per the Providence Journal’s Mark Daniels. That’s after having knee surgery before the 2020 season.

Edelman’s future looked more uncertain this offseason as Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald reported that a source close to the situation called it “doubtful” that Edleman could play a full season. The Patriots terminated Edelman’s contract on April 12 due to a failed physical according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

“I’ve always said, I’m going to go until the wheels come off, and they finally have fallen off,” Edelman said in his farewell video.

Only a Joke?

Brady wasn’t the first to joke about Edelman coming to Tampa.

Edelman beat him to it on April Fool’s Day with a Pirates of the Caribbean GIF and the quote “it’s a pirate’s life for me, savvy” but confirmed it was a joke later.

Edelman would have a small window in which to join Brady, 43, in Tampa as the quarterback is under contract for two more seasons.