Is Julian Edelman returning to the NFL? Former Patriots WR answers questions about NFL future


Julian Edelman retired from the NFL following the 2020 season. However, the 36-year-old receiver has hinted in recent months that he wouldn’t categorically rule out a return to the NFL.

Edelman was asked in mid-June at the Sunset Sports Media Festival in Zadar, Croatia whether he would consider returning to the NFL to play with Tom Brady.

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Edelman said of the possibility. “That’s called a little teaser. We’ll see. We’re staying in shape but you never know.”

That comment is far from definitive, but it was noteworthy. Why? Because it was the closest that Edelman has come to saying that he would consider a return to the NFL.

MORE: Julian Edelman agrees with Martellus Bennett’s criticism of Jimmy Garoppolo

Of course, the question now is about whether Edelman is actually considering a return or if he is just leaving the door open. He gave more clues in a recent appearance on the “I AM ATHLETE” podcast, where he gave an update about his future.

The amount of work I have to put into my body to train, to make me confident — like, that’s so much for the output because of the injuries, my knees, this, that. I’m not getting the same output. So now that I’ve taken a year off and I’m not loading my body, compounding loads every single day, my body feels pretty straight, you know? I’ve gone and dabbled out and you go run routes. But then, you see when you run routes, the next day, like, all right, I’m not too bad, but I’m already like 10,000 reps behind I feel in my mind.

So, Edelman feels good physically, but it sounds like it would take a while for him to be in NFL game shape both physically and mentally. As such, it doesn’t seem likely that he will return to the NFL, though he isn’t slamming the door shut on that possibility.

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Perhaps Edelman will attempt a comeback at some point. However, if he does, don’t expect him to go running to Tampa Bay to team with Brady. He seems to prefer the idea of staying in New England if he elects to play again.

“I’d probably go back to the Patriots,” Edelman said in Croatia. “I love the Patriots. Foxborough Forever.”

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