Julian Edelman’s time with the New England Patriots has officially come to an end.
With the New England Patriots parting ways with wide receiver Julian Edelman, they need to find his replacement fast.
The Patriots terminated his contract on account of failing his physical. This comes across as a technicality for one who is about to enter retirement. Though we all totally expect Edelman to eventually follow Rob Gronkowski’s lead and leave frigid New England for the never-ending supply of sunshine and winning down on the Florida Gulf Coast, the Patriots now have a roster spot to fill.
How are the Patriots going to go about replacing Edelman, whether that be through free agency, a trade or through the 2021 NFL Draft?
While Julian Edelman showed up on the NFL transaction wire today as having his contract terminated by the Patriots, the expectation is that it is a technicality as part of a retirement, per @MikeReiss.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 12, 2021
The #Patriots have terminated the contract of WR Julian Edelman, per the wire. He’s listed as a failed physical.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 12, 2021
New England Patriots: 3 replacements for Julian Edelman at wide receiverOne last opportunity for this legend to win a ring maybe?
Even though he is the greatest player in Arizona Cardinals history, future first-ballot hall of famer Larry Fitzgerald remains unsigned. While it would be utter blasphemy for Fitzgerald to leave the Valley of the Sun, the Cardinals already replaced him in former Cincinnati Bengals standout A.J. Green. Though Fitzgerald could return to the Cardinals, he really does embody The Patriot Way.
He already knows the offensive system like the back of his hand
A smallish slot receiver needs to be replaced, huh? So why not go get a guy who has won Super Bowls in New England before in that same role? Danny Amendola is still on the open market. He played most recently for Matt Patricia on the Detroit Lions, who is back in Foxborough on Bill Belichick’s staff. Amendola will be cheap and he should be productive. This feels like a no-brainer.
Not even Bill Belichick could screw up drafting this wide receiver
While looking through the value bin at potential wide receiver options in free agency feels incredibly Belichickian, maybe it would serve them to draft a guy in the first round? Even though he is slight in stature, it is hard to see 2020 Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith busting in the NFL. You could argue that he is noted Belichick disciple Nick Saban’s favorite Alabama player ever.
Overall, the Patriots have plenty of options to go about addressing the wide receiver position with Edelman no longer part of the team. It would be very Patriots to peruse the value bin to get a guy like Amendola or Fitzgerald to join their organization. However, it is worth the gamble to move up slightly in the draft board to go get a wide receiver along the lines of Smith. They can do really this.
Replacing Edelman will not be easy, but is it what the Patriots have to do this offseason.