Julian Edelman spent the entirety of his 11-year NFL career with the Patriots but revealed on Monday that if Tom Brady had his way, at least one of those would be spent with him in Tampa Bay.
Edelman — appearing on the “Monday Night Football” Manningcast of the Buccaneers-Giants game — revealed how his former quarterback “hit me up” on his first day with the Buccaneers, asking him, “You want to come down?” Edelman’s answer?
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Edelman, 35, ultimately finished his last NFL season in 2020 playing six games — and starting one — in New England. He had 21 catches for 315 yards and no touchdowns, finishing his career with 620 catches for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns in 137 games. He also has three Super Bowl rings to his name. Brady, meanwhile, went on to win Super Bowl LV as a Buccaneer with former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.
This isn’t the first time Edelman has addressed rumors of rejoining Brady in Tampa Bay. Following the receiver’s retirement in April, Brady joked that Edelman simply didn’t know how to tell Patriots coach Bill Belichick he just wanted to play in Tampa:
“We know Julian didn’t retire. Let’s be honest,” Brady said at the NFL Draft-A-Thon 2021. “He’s just too scared to tell (Patriots coach) Bill (Belichick) he wants to come to Tampa. I’ve been there.”
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In response, Edelman joined “The Michael Irvin Podcast” and said he was fine leaving the game having given it his all:
“My knee’s breaking down, I’m not going to sit here, you know, I got everything I wanted,” Edelman said. “I got three rings, played in a magical dynasty, with an unbelievable franchise coach, best quarterback of all time, like, yo, I’m not a greedy guy. I played to win, I played to compete, I don’t need anything else to prove. I’m good with what I did, I left it all out on the field.”
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That said, Edelman did admit on the Manningcast he very nearly joined another team as a free agent in 2013: He considered joining Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin on the Giants.
“It was pretty close,” Edelman said. “I went and visited down there in Jersey and met with (Tom) Coughlin and had nothing but respect for the organization … but I looked at my choices of going back to the Pats … (and) Peyton, thank you for taking (Wes) Welker off our hands … and the rest is history. You guys are saying, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant.’ Well, ‘Almost a Giant, always a Patriot.'”