Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Pats and Julian Edelman

While the Pats waited to see whether the Steelers let Sanders go, the team locked up another wideout on Wednesday when they re-signed Julian Edelman after letting him test the free-agent market.

Edelman made a big splash at the start of last season, even pushing fellow slot receiver Wes Welker for
game action before a hand injury limited his role. Eventually a broken left foot forced him to injured reserve. Edelman is in position to make a splash this season:

Receiver Julian Edelman agreeing to a 1-year deal with the Patriots is a move that is more important to the club than it might initially appear to be on the surface. If healthy, and that ‘if’ is a key, Edelman projects to a top-4 role at receiver. Maybe even top-3. Edelman is one of the Patriots’ hardest workers and he opened eyes among teammates and coaches last offseason and training camp. Specifically, his straight-line speed had improved. … In returning to the Patriots on a one-year deal, which includes financial incentives that will reward him should he remain healthy and productive, Edelman puts himself in the best position to hit free agency again next season and potentially land a bigger offer. The Patriots also benefit, because they need help at receiver, and Edelman’s knowledge of the system has added value given some of the other changes at the position. Edelman is also a top-flight punt returner.

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