The New England Patriots offered wide receiver Julian Edelman a three-year deal, but he decided to hit the free agent market in order to see what else is out there. Both the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers showed interest in a dependable slot WR who could help them out, but neither team looked like an ideal landing spot for him. It was reported that the 49ers did not have significant interest in Edelman, and the Browns committed a significant amount of money to trying to pry away WR Andrew Hawkins from the Cincinnati Bengals in restricted free agency. Thus, the Patriots looked like the most likely landing spot for Edelman, and it’s always been a perfect fit for both sides.
The only question was whether or not the Patriots would be willing to spend enough to keep him, but his asking price did go down thanks to the circumstances described above. That offset the fact that the Patriots invested a significant amount of money in cornerback Brandon Browner, and now ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Patriots and Edelman have agreed to terms on a deal with unknown terms.
I’m guessing there are safeguards in this contract against injury, and I’m also guessing that the deal is for multiple years and is worth $4 or $5 million per year, unless if Edelman is looking to sign a one-year deal and try to break the bank next year. Edelman and Tom Brady share an excellent rapport, and it would have been a tough loss for the Patriots to let their 100-catch, versatile WR and top punt returner walk. Simply put, the Patriots couldn’t afford to lose their most productive pass-catcher for a second straight season, and other factors helped the Pats find the time to make progress and reach a deal with him.