Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Reiss: If healthy, Edelman starts year as No. 2


Julian Edelman wasn't a lock to return to the New England Patriots' roster when he hit free agency in March. But after re-signing with the team in mid-April, Edelman is already projected to be a big part of the team's offense.

We wrote about Edelman's importance last month, and according to Mike Reiss of ESPN Boston, that importance just might mean a starting gig in what has been one of the league's most high-powered offenses of the past decade.

"I think Edelman is the team's No. 2 receiver on opening day if he is healthy," Reiss wrote Tuesday in his 'Mailbag.' (photo: Beth Hart, Flickr)

"I also wouldn't undersell his athleticism and speed. Naturally, losing part of the offseason as he rehabs his foot wasn't ideal, but I think one of the main things he has going for him is a trust built up with Tom Brady and a knowledge of the offense. If he's healthy on the opening day of camp, I think he'll quickly elevate to close to the top of the depth chart."

We'd normally consider a tight end as Tom Brady's true No. 2 option, but with the departure of Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski's injury concerns and the dismissal of Wes Welker, Edelman is a legit candidate. He tallied 21 receptions for 12 first downs and three touchdowns in nine games last year.

The Patriots signed free agents Danny Amendola, Mike Jenkins and Donald Jones this offseason while drafting Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce. Like it has the past few seasons, New England will go into training camp with a truckload of wideouts fighting for a limited number of spots.

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