One question immediately came to the forefront of the football world when Julian Edelman announced his NFL retirement: Is the Patriots legend worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
Arguments can be made for both sides. Edelman never received a Pro Bowl nod nor an All-Pro selection and only eclipsed the 1,000-yard receiving threshold in three of his 11 seasons (he missed the entire 2017 campaign due to injury). On the flip side, Edelman is a three-time Super Bowl champion, the Super Bowl LIII MVP and, statistically speaking, one of the best playoff pass-catchers of all time.
Keyshawn Johnson, for one, does not believe Edelman deserves a gold jacket and a bust in Canton, Ohio. In fact, Johnson doesn’t even believe the debate is worth having.
“… When you start talking about Hall of Fame, miss me with that. Kill that game,” Johnson said Tuesday on ESPN’s “Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin.” “That’s no disrespect to him, I like him. I’ve interviewed him. I think he’s a great young man, the California kid, but don’t do that to guys that are in the Hall of Fame or ones going in the Hall of Fame. To say, based on postseason success, that Julian Edelman is a Hall of Famer, that conversation is not even — like, who wants to have that conversation, though? Seriously.
Johnson continued: “Let’s be real with each other. He played with the greatest quarterback of all time, possibly the greastest coach to ever live in an organization that knew what to do in the postseason. It’s nothing against his postseason career. He did a fabulous job, but no. Just ’cause a guy has statistics in the biggest games where they’re throwing you the ball a lot because there’s a mismatch there — stop, though. We can’t do this. We just can’t do this. Because when you start talking about the receiver position, there’s guys out there named Torry Holt and there’s guys out there named Steve Smith and Chad Johnson, ‘Ochocinco.’ There’s guys that are out there, so let’s just stop it, please.”
Johnson is not the only talking head who doesn’t believe Edelman is a Hall of Fame player. Nick Wright offered his take on the matter even more bluntly, saying Edelman is “seven steps away from being considered to be at the doorstep to the Hall of Fame.?