Sunday, July 3, 2022

Former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman hints at NFL comeback, suggests 2022 return to New England

NFL: San Francisco 49ers at New England Patriots
Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

On multiple occasions since retiring after the 2020 NFL season, Julian Edelman has ruled out the possibility of a comeback. But now, at 36, with the 2022 season around the corner, the former longtime Patriots wide receiver is entertaining one. Appearing at the Sunset Sports Media Festival in Croatia this week, Edelman hinted that he could be back on the field soon, specifically suggesting a return to New England.

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Edelman said when asked about a potential reunion with former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, per the New York Post. “That’s called a little teaser. We’ll see. We’re staying in shape, but you never know. But I’d probably go back to the Patriots. I love the Patriots. Foxborough forever.”

His remarks are a far cry from the receiver’s previous comments on the matter. The last time Edelman spoke publicly on his retirement, he denied he had any interest in joining Brady with the Buccaneers, calling himself a “one-team guy.” More than that, he admitted his knee was “breaking down” and he already “got everything I wanted” during his title-winning, 12-year career.

One of his other former Patriots teammates, however, has never believed Edelman is done for good. Tight end Rob Gronkowski, who’s mulling his own NFL future after reuniting with Brady in Tampa, told reporters in 2021 that Edelman “will be back.”

New England, for what it’s worth, boasts a relatively crowded wide receiver room entering 2022. The team acquired former Dolphins standout DeVante Parker via trade this offseason, re-signed No. 1 target Jakobi Meyers and spent a second-round draft pick on Tyquan Thornton, who figures to compete with veterans Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor for reserve snaps.

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