Thanks to injuries and a handful of green wideouts, Julian Edelman was thrust into a leading role in the Patriots' offense this season. He responded with a 105-1,056-6 line, and did it just in time before he hit the open market.
Edelman hinted in a Boston radio interview Thursday that he would like to return to New England, but knows that might not happen
"Playing for New England is a dream, but like you said, there's a short window in this sport," Edelman said. "I don't know yet. There's a lot of things that can happen going forward that could sway that one way or another. Hopefully it all works out in favor for both."
The first sentence in that quote sounds like a man who understands he may never have another chance to cash in for big money. So, he's gonna do it big now. Perhaps the Patriots won't be able to afford the 27-year-old Edelman, but they should at least make him a high priority. With Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski firmly entrenched in the "injury prone" column, and youngsters Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson still learning the ropes, Edelman provides Tom Brady with a simply Welker-like safety blanket. He was the Patriots' most valuable pass-catcher this season by miles.