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Patriots Icon Julian Edelman Clears Up Comeback: Is He or Isn't He?

Julian Edelman is once again stirring up comeback rumors

FOXBORO — Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman finds himself the center of attention in talks of a possible comeback.

Edelman recently appeared on the I AM ATHLETE podcast, and during the hour-long discussion he was asked if he'd come out of retirement to play in the NFL again.

Well, the 36-year-old did not exactly shut down the idea of making a return. In fact, he could have easily squashed this notion by simply saying his playing days are over.

Instead ...

“If I would ever come back, I would come back as a Pat, probably. Be part of that,” he said. “It’s a little bit of everything. I have an opportunity there. I have a life there. That’s my home now. My whole adult life I’ve been in Boston. I know Boston better than I know San Francisco. I know the Cape better than I know Lake Tahoe, and that’s where I grew up.”

Edelman dealt with an aching bone-on-bone knee injury in 2020 that required surgery which ultimately played a role in his decision to retire. At the time, that injury slowed the three-time Super Bowl champion wideout throughout the season. Fast forward to 2022, when his knee has had nearly two years to heal, you can understand why Edelman might feel that urge to make a return. Prior to his injury-plagued 2020 season, he was a slot machine. In 2018 he will be remembered for his 10 catches for 141 yards against the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, which earned him Super Bowl MVP honors. He followed up that stellar post-season performance with a 100-catch, 1,117-yard season in 2019.

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After Tom Brady's unretirement, you can never rule out any player's comeback. Let's also keep in mind that Edelman witnessed his good friend Rob Gronkowski come out of retirement to execute two successful seasons with Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Brady is still going strong at 44 years old. Edelman is about nine years younger.

Remember back when Edelman appeared at the Sunset Sports Media Festival in Zadar, Croatia? He was asked about possibly coming back as a member of the Buccaneers and reuniting with his old pal Brady.

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” he said. “That’s called a little teaser. We’ll see. We’re staying in shape, but you never know.”

Edelman has been linked to Tampa before, in fact, Edelman even posted an April Fools’ Day joke that he was signing with the Buccaneers. 

Even with Edelman leaving the door open for a potential comeback at one point, he later acknowledged that he has nothing left to play for.

“The real real is, like, I’m done,” he said. “I feel like you go back and forth because I left everything on the field, I really ain’t got nothing else to play for.”