Julian Edelman seems to have picked the next step in his life and career.
And you can breathe easy, Patriots fans, so far it doesn’t involve joining Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Edelman, who retired from the NFL last week, and his Coast Productions partner Assaf Swissa have signed a deal with ViacomCBS, which includes Edelman joining "Inside the NFL," which will debut on streaming service Paramount+ this fall, according to Deadline.
Edelman will join James Brown, Phil Simms and Brandon Marshall on the weekly show, and potentially develop scripted and unscripted programming for ViacomCBS divisions.
No surprise, the 34-year-old former seventh-round pick is approaching his new role like an underdog.
“I’ve always been a fan of "Inside the NFL," and the different way they have shown football, from the cinematography to the slow highlights, and the all-star cast they’ve had,” Edelman told Deadline. “It’ll just be fun to share what’s on my mind, but those guys have been in the TV world for over a decade. That’s a whole lot of nerves, like back when I got drafted in the seventh round by New England, and I was a quarterback from a small school who never played receiver. I have to make this team, and prove what I can do. That’s the mind-set I have, nervous but excited.”
It might take years for NFL observers to accept that Edelman isn’t coming back, and stranger things have happened. For now, Edelman sounds like someone who has come to terms with his physical limitations and might be able to better adapt to a new vocation better than others.
“I already miss football, and will miss it more around April when you get back in the facility and kick it with the fellas in the locker room and the gym, bonding and creating that synergy with a team that competes at the highest level,” he said. “But I gave everything I had, and physically I can’t do it no more. I still have to do things to keep my body feeling good. Body movement, yoga, working out, because I’ve had these millimeters of biomechanics that changed because of all the injuries. I have to work hard to keep it in synch. I’m still rehabbing certain things, but my head feels great, and when you play 12 years in the NFL and come away feeling that way, it’s number one.”