Julian Edelman and the Patriots have agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2019 season. The deal includes a $5 million signing bonus and a maximum value of $19.5 million dollars, as reported by ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss.
Edelman will now likely end his career with the same team that drafted him after signing this new extension.The elite receiver and dynamic punt-returner began his extraordinary NFL journey with the Patriots after being drafted by the team in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL draft with the 232nd pick.
The former Kent State dual-threat quarterback turned receiver has come a long way since then. Edelman didn’t truly get his chance to shine at receiver until Wes Welker left New England via free agency prior to the 2013 season and ever since then he has earned the respect of his peers across the league as one of the best at his position. A legend in New England, Edelman has become the heartbeat of the team and is Tom Brady’s go-to target that the quarterback can rely on in crucial situations.
There’s no denying that Edelman can play but he also doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves. Let’s dive into some statistics to help paint a picture on just how productive the receiver has been.
According to Pro Football Focus, Edelman ranks in the top 5 in total receptions per yeaer with 356 and receptions per game with 6.5 since 2013. The tough as nails receiver also registered 42 forced missed tackles since 2014 which ranks top 5 as well. He was the third-highest targeted receiver last season and not one pass intended for Edelman was intercepted out of the 159 targets, according to PFF. The former seventh-round pick is also extremely productive and clutch during the playoffs with a career playoff stat line of almost 90 receptions, over 1,000 yards, and 5 touchdowns. While these numbers indicate his excellent receiving abilities he is also a dangerous punt returner and can be extremely effective in trick plays such as sweeps, end-arounds, and double passes (flea-flickers).
Julian Edelman has always been overlooked and underrated but the numbers don’t lie and the Patriots know this and that’s why they felt it was important to keep him on-board. Expect this type of production to continue from the standout receiver moving forward as he looks to build on his legacy in New England.