The New England Patriots simply couldn’t go another offseason without overhauling their receiving corps, and they predictably answered the call in emphatic fashion by signing two wideouts, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, to multi-year deals in free agency.
Though fans probably would’ve preferred to see the Patriots target more of a proven commodity, the fact that the two newcomers will serve as a drastic improvement to what the team was working with over the previous two seasons should give them very little to complain about.
Barring something unforeseen, it’s looking like Agholor, Bourne and Jakobi Meyers will make up the top three spots on the WR depth chart.
You might be left thinking where Julian Edelman fits into the rotation, but he’s no guarantee to play a prominent role.
In fact, the latest update on Edelman’s recovery from knee surgery suggests he’d be lucky if he wasn’t released before training camp.
According to Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald, the veteran wideout might struggle to play through the entire 2021 season.
Patriots fans won’t enjoy this update on Julian Edelman’s knee injury.
Here’s what Guregian had to say about the matter. To avoid spoiling anything, let’s just say that fans might want to start picturing a world in which Edelman leaves the Patriots, because the details of his prolonged recovery do not bode well for his future.
“According to a source familiar with Edelman’s situation, it’s doubtful he will be able to play the entire 2021 season,” Guregian wrote. “The knee has already hampered him for the better part of two years.”
“While surgery can provide temporary relief, nothing can solve the underlying problem, the source said. That doesn’t mean Edelman won’t try to suit up, but if you’re the Patriots, how do you keep a soon to be 35-year-old receiver with a bad knee that will eventually sideline him again?”
Edelman has wrestled with knee injuries for multiple seasons now and he underwent what was described as a minor procedure in October to fix what was nagging him. The 34-year-old was subsequently placed on injured reserve after Week 7, and, after countless maddening updates from the coaching staff, ended up missing the rest of the year.
The Patriots can obviously afford to keep Edelman around for another year, as he has a base salary of just $2.8 million and will account for just $6.08 million against the cap. However, it’s worth noting they can free up roughly $3.5 million in cap space by releasing him.
You also can’t rule out the possibility of a trade, but what team would be willing to give up draft assets to acquire an aging receiver (he’ll turn 35 next month) who is likely going to have to be load-managed to avoid risking further damage to his knee? We all know the answer to that.
Bottom line? The Patriots seem to be stuck in between a rock and a hard place with Edelman and it’s hard to imagine this having a positive ending for either side.