Goodbye Old Friend, Happy Trails

You Will Be Missed.

He utters his boisterous phrase “I’ll go until the wheels come off” until years later he somberly admits, “They’ve finally fallen off.” The seventh round draft pick out of Kent State can no longer lace up the cleats after failing a physical leading to the termination of his contract. A crying shame as another hallmark of the Patriots second dynasty is shown the door.
On the bright side, Edelman won’t lose his entire contract. He’ll still receive $2 million thanks to the injury protection benefit as a part of the leagues collective bargaining agreement. 
I distinctly remember the off-season between the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The question of what do we do about star wide receiver Wes Welker dominated the local media. Many assuming Belichick is too cheap to re-sign him and arrogant for believing there was a replacement for him in-house.
Well well well…
To be fair, Danny Amendola also came into town but he cost a pittance compared to what Welker received from Denver. Two-years,$13 million for Welker vs five-years, $31 million for Amendola. 
It’s cliche but Belichick was partaken with the scrappy Edelman while watching his team get decimated by Ohio State 48-3 because despite the lopsided score he hadn’t given up. His high intensity ceased to wane. 
Hard work and determination put Edelman a step below only the great Jerry Rice as a playoff performer. Ranking 2nd in most catches in the playoffs (118). 2nd in most receiving yards in playoff history (1,442). 2nd in most 100-yard receiving games (6). Fifth in most Super Bowl catches (24). Fourth in receiving yards in the Super Bowl (337). 
Put his statistics in January in context vs Rice, Edelman comes out looking even better. Rice played in 29 postseason games, Edelman 19. Both averaged the same amount of catches per game (Rice 5.9 vs Edelman’s 6.2). Finally, of all the Super Bowl MVPs only seven of them had been wide receivers. Lynn Swann, Fred Biletnikoff, Jerry Rice, Deion Branch, Hines Ward, Santino Holmes, and… you guessed it. 
In many ways, Edelman’s departure is a cause of celebration, not grief. He gets to retire with his head held up high, having accomplished so much more than anyone expected of him. From emergency defensive back in the 2011 season to emerging Welker replacement in 2013, and finally Super Bowl MVP in 2018, we may debate whether Edelman is worthy of Canton but there should be no doubt in anyone’s mind he deserves a special place at 2 Patriots Place in Foxboro.

Author: sailboatstudios

Hack. Amateur. Professional quitter.

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