Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Edelman a perfect blend of need, cost for Patriots


Not much is familiar to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady when he looks over his receiver depth chart.

Not much, as in one 5-foot-10, 200-pound Julian Edelman. Edelman is the Patriots' lone returning wideout -- excluding special-teamer Matthew Slater -- in 2013. (photo: Beth Hart, Flickr)

Brady's familiarity with Edelman could prove critical this summer, yet Edelman's potential importance in the team's much turned-over offense doesn't quite match his finances.

Edelman is recovering from a foot injury and hasn't participated in any on-field offseason activities. Because of that, the Patriots recently converted nearly all of his $50,000 workout bonus to a roster bonus, which he'll receive if he makes the Week 1 roster.

The 27-year-old's base salary sits at $750,000, according to ESPN Boston, and he can only max out at just over $1 million given he meets all of his reception incentives. He hauled in 21 passes, 12 first downs and three touchdowns in nine games last year.

That makes for a low-risk, high-reward scenario for New England. Edelman's importance is heightened even more with the uncertainty of the much depended on tight end corps -- Rob Gronkowski's Week 1 status is in question, and Aaron Hernandez, who also has dealt with his share of injuries, has a much bigger problem on his hands with his potential involvement with a murder paired with other pending legal matters.

Edelman is battling with newly-acquired veterans Danny Amendola, Michael Jenkins and Donald Jones along with rookies Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce for playing time and roster position.

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