Julian Edelman has played a pivotal role on three Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots teams. He’s the second-most productive pass-catcher in NFL postseason history, behind only the legendary Jerry Rice, and he’s shown no signs of slowing down this season at age 33.
Yet in debates over which wide receivers are among the NFL’s best, Edelman’s name rarely is mentioned. Tom Brady believes that’s “bogus.”
After Edelman’s place in the current wideout hierarchy became a point of contention on Twitter over the weekend, Brady made the case for his favorite target Monday morning, using the word “spectacular” five times as he explained why Edelman is a top-25 receiver.
“Well, for me, he’s a spectacular player,” the Patriots quarterback said during his weekly appearance on WEEI’s “Greg Hill Show.” He’ll be in the Patriots Hall of Fame, and he could be a Pro Football Hall of Famer, too, at some point. What he’s done and what he’s accomplished is nothing short of spectacular. He’s a great teammate. He does all the dirty work. Not just his only spectacular performances — his ability to run routes, catch the ball, run after catch — but blocking, blocking for other guys. I think his day-to-day mentality really sets the tone for everybody.
“We put Julian in a situation to do all the toughest jobs, basically, and that’s what he relishes. And those things can’t go unnoticed, because when he’s not in there, you can see the difference it has on our offense. He does a lot of things that a lot of other players in the NFL can’t do, and he’s just a spectacular player.
“So that’s definitely a kind of a bogus vote, in my view, because he is a spectacular player — one of the greats in the NFL, no doubt.”
With fellow receivers Phillip Dorsett and Josh Gordon both banged up, Edelman has carried New England’s passing game over the last two weeks despite dealing with his own nagging injury. He caught eight passes on nine targets for 110 yards and a touchdown during a Week 5 win over the Washington Redskins and tallied nine receptions on 15 targets for 113 yards in last Thursday’s victory over the New York Giants.
Since returning from his torn ACL and PED suspension last October, Edelman has 138 catches for 1,687 yards and eight touchdowns in 21 games, including playoffs.
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images