After a successful season which ended with a Super Bowl title, the Patriots have chosen to keep Julian Edelman around beyond this season.
The Patriots do not reward players with contracts to be kind, or to show loyalty for a player performing well in past seasons. They only extend players who are still central to their plans, and only if they believe that player will continue to produce at a high level for the duration of the contract.
So it perhaps raised some eyebrows this morning when word leaked that Julian Edelman is being extended by the Patriots for two more years. He is at the age when players are often jettisoned for younger, cheaper options, but even though he turns 33 on May 22, it was apparently clear to the Patriots front office that he still has enough juice to excel in their offense for two more seasons.
Even more surprising was that apparently the contract is worth $18 million, with $12 million of it guaranteed. To this point in Edelman’s 10-year career, he has earned $26 million. So in the next two years the Patriots will almost double his career earnings. Even with the first-round selection of N’Keal Harry, Edelman is their No. 1 receiver and remains one of the most important players on the roster.
NESN reported the extension and pointed out how many Patriots fans instantly reacted to the news with elation. This was likely a no-brainer for the Patriots brass, who know that despite the large collection of wide receivers they currently have on the roster, none of them could replicate what Edelman does. Nor would they be able to quickly develop the sort of chemistry Edelman has with Brady.
For teams other than the Patriots, the reaction is doubtful to be joyful, particularly since it likely means Brady will also be around for at least two more seasons.