ATLANTA — The case for Julian Edelman’s Pro Football Hall of Fame candidacy got stronger Sunday night when he took home Super Bowl LIII MVP.
Edelman caught 10 passes for 141 yards as the Patriots’ offense as a whole struggled to move the ball against the Los Angeles Rams’ defense in their 13-3 win. He now ranks second all time in both postseason receptions and receiving yards behind his boyhood idol Jerry Rice.
“He’s been an incredible player for this team in the playoffs, and he just cemented himself, again, in the history of the NFL for what his accomplishments are,” quarterback Tom Brady said after the Super Bowl.
Since taking over as a full-time starter in 2013, Edelman has averaged 8.8 receptions and 111.4 receiving yards per playoff game. He’s a great player in the regular season, but he’s unbelievable once the postseason rolls around.
The story is well told — Edelman was a quarterback in college and drafted in the seventh round before the Patriots moved him to wide receiver. But the unlikeliness that Edelman would become one of the best postseason performers of all-time almost gets overlooked because the tale has become cliche.
“It’s hard to (imagine), that’s for sure,” Edelman said. “I’m getting to live out a dream so it’s pretty surreal right now. I think everything happens for a reason. I was always taught as a young boy that you always just have to work hard. Work as hard as you can, put in the extra time, and we will see where it goes.”
Edelman has never made a Pro Bowl, and he’s never received All-Pro honors. That’s the case against Edelman one day making the Hall of Fame.
The case for? Shouldn’t postseason performances not only count but matter more? He’s done enough in 18 postseason performance to at least warrant consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, even if he never makes it.
Edelman isn’t about to start thinking about his legacy now, though.
“I will probably be thinking about trying to relax, and then start all over and be ready for next year,” Edelman said.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images