Julian Edelman spent his entire NFL career with the New England Patriots before retiring at the end of the 2020 season. After beginning as a special teamer, he blossomed into a dynamic wide receiver and won three Super Bowls with the organization.
Although he ended up a Patriot for life, Edelman revealed on Tuesday that he almost opted to go elsewhere during the early part of his career.
Struggling to take on a larger role in Bill Belichick’s offense after his first five years in New England, Edelman, who was a star punt returner at the time, explained that he started to look for new opportunities during the 2013 offseason. Among the teams that he got furtherest with in negotiations were the New York Giants.
Edelman ended up returning to the Patriots on a four-year deal during which he won three Super Bowls. However, he explained just how close he was to leaving New England back in 2013.
“It was pretty close,” Edelman said during Monday’s “ManningCast”, via Zack Cox of ESPN. “I went and visited down there in Jersey and met with (Tom) Coughlin. I had nothing but respect for the organization and the Mara family and everything the Giants stood about. A very (good) organization. But I looked at my choices of going with the Pats, and Welker — thank you, Peyton, for taking Welker off our hands, giving me more opportunity.
“And the rest is history. I guess — you guys were saying, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant’ — almost a Giant, always a Patriot.”
Julian Edelman recalled his 2013 flirtation with the Giants during the ManningCast. Said he came "pretty close" to signing before he ultimately chose to stay with the Patriots. Also thanked Peyton Manning for taking Wes Welker away that offseason. pic.twitter.com/GR2tS2e79O
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) November 23, 2021
In hindsight, Edelman definitely made the right decision. Not only did he win a handful of titles but he also became one of the most accomplished pass-catcher in Patriots history.
Edelman retired in 2021 as a franchise legend. He ended his career second in Patriots history with 620 receptions, fourth with 6,822 receiving yards and ninth with 36 receiving touchdowns