Julian Edelman finally has some job security with the New England Patriots after four years on a seventh-round rookie contract and one more without any guaranteed money.
Edelman signed a four-year, $19 million deal with $8 million guaranteed Monday, locking him up for the length of quarterback Tom Brady’s contract. Edelman no longer has to worry about finding a pink slip in his locker midway through the season.
“It’s good to have a little security and knowing that a team believes in you enough to pay you that kind of stuff,” Edelman said Thursday during a conference call with the media. “A little security on how many years I’ll be here. I’ve never really been in that situation. I’ve always felt like if I had a bad practice I could potentially get cut the next day.”
Edelman said he got some nudging from Brady to re-sign with the Patriots. The sixth-year pro receiver became Brady’s favorite target in 2013.
“TB let it be known that he would love to have me back and part of the team,” Edelman said. “But Tom’s also a good friend of mine, one of the guys that’s helped me develop into a professional in this league. He also told me that I would have to take care of myself and my family. He just kind of mentored me through the process. It’s going to be a very tough decision. It was definitely a very tough decision that you had to deal with, but TB was right there behind me if I would have left or if I would have stayed.
“I couldn’t leave the guy. He’s my dog.”
Edelman returns to a suddenly crowded group of wide receivers that includes Danny Amendola, the newly signed Brandon LaFell and second-year pros Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins.
“Football is a competition. It’s always a competition,” Edelman said when asked if he was competing with Amendola for a role. “If you’re scared to compete, you’re in the wrong business.”
Edelman might be competing for catches, but after the 105-catch, 1,056-yard season he had in 2013, he won’t be competing for a starting spot on the Patriots’ roster anymore.