Over the years, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has made plenty of jaws drop with tweets that broke news of trades, signings, etc., and also a proclamation about Julian Edelman following Super Bowl LIII.
“As the MVP of this year’s Super Bowl, Patriots’ WR Julian Edelman is playing himself into a spot in Canton in the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” Schefter tweeted.
With no Pro Bowls or All-Pros to his name, the tweet was met with plenty of resistance, but looking further into the wide receiver’s career, he has to at least be in the discussion. Of course, this debate has been sparked again with the wide receiver officially announcing his retirement on Monday.
Edelman finished that Super Bowl with 10 catches for 114 yards, and the reality is that was just an average playoff game for him. While his regular-season numbers certainly do not have him in the Hall of Fame discussion, his postseason numbers absolutely do.
He has 1,442 postseason receiving yards, which are the most in NFL history aside from Jerry Rice, who has 2,245. In addition, he has six playoff games in which he has totaled at least 100 receiving yards, tying him with Michael Irvin for second all time behind Rice (eight). And lastly, Edelman had an 11-game postseason stretch from 2014-19 (seasons) where he averaged 8.2 catches on 12.5 targets for 106 yards.
The wide out has also been a part of some of the most memorable postseason plays in NFL history, and there’s a pretty good argument to be made the Patriots do not have as many Super Bowls without him.
The Kent State product had the game-winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seahawks with 2:02 left, which capped a nine-catch, 109-yard performance. And who could forget his ridiculous catch at midfield against the Falcons in Super Bowl LI with 2:24 remaining that led to the game-tying score.
If postseason stats were highly factored into things he would be in on the first try, but of course they aren’t — at least as of yet.
The game has changed so much over the years and some factors have become more impactful than others as time has gone by. Who knows, maybe over the next few years people will push and argue for postseason stats and championships to have more value, and if that is the case Edelman certainly would be at the top of the discussion.
While he’s rather biased, Tom Brady has already made the case for him at least getting considered.
"He'll be in the Patriot Hall of Fame, and he could be a Pro Football Hall of Famer at some point, too," the former Patriots quarterback said on The Greg Hill Show in 2019. "What he's accomplished in his career is nothing short of spectacular.”
Brady continued: “We put Julian in a position to do all the toughest jobs, basically. That is where he relishes. Those things cannot go unnoticed because when he is not in there you can see the difference it has on our offense. He does a lot of things a lot of other players in the NFL can’t do. He’s just a spectacular player.”
And while Bill Belichick didn’t come out and say anything as definitive as Brady, his statement Monday was pretty glowing.
“By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all,” it read. “Few players can match Julian’s achievements, period, but considering his professional trajectory and longevity, the group is even more select. It is historic.”
It’s impossible to say right now whether or not Edelman will one day be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but it should be acknowledged he’s put himself in the discussion.
Not bad for a seventh-round quarterback-turned-wide receiver out of Kent State.