Julian Edelman received interest from the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in free agency, but his decision to return to the New England Patriots was an easy one.
Edelman signed a four-year contract with the Patriots worth a reported $17 million with $8 million guaranteed.
“It wasn’t that tough, to tell you the truth,” Edelman told WAAF on Tuesday of deciding to re-sign with the Patriots. “You go on these visits and these trips and everything. You see these wonderful organizations. I got to go home and see the Niners, and I grew up a huge Niners fan. Being in New England for the last five years, that’s just home. That’s just home for me right now.”
Edelman and his quarterback, Tom Brady, both are locked up through 2017. Edelman became Brady’s No. 1 target last season as tight end Rob Gronkowski dealt with injuries.
Edelman said Brady played a part in his decision to sign with the Patriots.
“When you get to come to work and play with one of the best, it makes it a lot easier, especially with the kind of player and person Brady — and along with other guys on the team,” he said. “The teammates were definitely a huge part of that. Having the year that we had last year where we got so close, and we overcame adversity and all that stuff. Hopefully we’re able to build on that and do even better.”
Edelman has become the consummate Patriot during his five years with the team. His willingness to play through injuries and do anything — including play defense — to help the team win likely resonated with head coach Bill Belichick.
“Just the mentality of the team, how everything is done — the scheme, the players, the locker room, the fans — it’s just something that I couldn’t leave,” Edelman said. “I’m really glad they were able to work something out and bring me back.”
Edelman played a full 16-game season for the first time in 2013. He caught 105 passes for 1,056 yards with six touchdowns.