Sunday, January 19, 2014

Reliable Edelman 'not even thinking about' contract


For yet another Sunday, wide receiver Julian Edelman led the New England Patriots in targets and receiving yards. This time, however, his contributions weren't enough for a win.

Edelman hauled in 89 yards on 10 catches in New England's 26-16 Conference Championship loss to the Denver Broncos, proving once again to be Brady's most reliable option through the air this season.

The question now is whether his efforts earned him another year in Foxborough.

"I’m not even thinking about that right now," he said after the game, via "I’m thinking about the fellas in this locker room, the coaches, all the hard work we put in and this season. I’ll think about [free agency] later."

Edelman's coming off a career year following the one-year deal he signed back in April. He pulled in more than 100 receptions and more than 1,000 yards this season, Brady's mainstay — particulary early on — as the offense struggled with injury. While many thought it would be fellow wideout Danny Amendola filling Wes Welker's shoes, it was Edelman that Brady relied on, targeting the 27-year-old more than 150 times throughout the regular season.

Edelman will likely eye a multi-year contract next season given his age, a right he surely earned with his output this year and one he'll likely receive. It may be too early to say whether it's with New England, though the team would be crazy to cut him loose given the current state of their receiving corps, which is unpredictable at best without him.

"I’m very proud to be a part of this team," Edelman said. "We fought through a lot of adversity. There’s a lot of ups and downs and it’s just very unfortunate that it had to end this way. It’s not the way we wanted to [end the season]."

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