Julian Edelman Explains Not Joining Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The idea of Julian Edelman reuniting with Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski in Tampa Bay is fun, but it was never going to happen.
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Logically speaking, it makes complete sense as to why Julian Edelman retired following a 12-year pro football career.

Edelman sat out of his final 10 NFL matchups after undergoing knee surgery in October, and his contract was terminated as a technicality for benefits due to a failed physical on April 12. Edelman had described his knee as "bone-on-bone" not long after his retirement, suggesting that the move truly put his health first.

Despite this, it is safe to assume that everyone in the NFL world has wondered, even in the slightest bit, if this is all a play by Edelman to reunite with quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The trio spent nine seasons together with the New England Patriots; Brady and Edelman were teammates for 11 years, winning three Super Bowls together during that span.

Edelman pretty much put the theory to rest on The Michael Irvin Podcast, though.

“I’m a one-team guy,” Edelman said.

“My knee’s breaking down. I’m not going to sit here, I got everything I wanted,” Edelman continued. “I got three rings, played in a magical dynasty, with an unbelievable franchise coach, best quarterback of all time. 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.”

Edelman would go into detail about his knee, sharing that he originally tore his posterior cruciate ligament while at Kent State in 2007. Cartilage continued to degenerate throughout his medial knee as his NFL career went on which led to Edelman tearing the root of his meniscus. 

Following the October surgery, it became clear that Edelman's days of being a dominant receiver were over. It wasn't difficult to realize that Edelman was playing through pain in his knee while watching Patriots games, even dating back to the 2019 season.

"I can't put this much energy and time and passion for this much output, when I usually get this much, because I don't want to put a bad product on the field," Edelman explained. "I have too much respect for the game. I don't want to look like one of those old guys that's out there just to be out there."

It's fun to envision the idea of Edelman catching passes from Brady and alongside Gronkowski once again, this time in red and pewter. But barring some sort of medical miracle for Edelman's knee, it just isn't going to happen.