Now that the world is not talking about the Patriots winning another Super Bowl, it is time to reflect on the players New England has managed to breed for success. One specific person we need to talk about is Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman.
After the game, there were talks about whether Edelman is a Hall of Famer. Does the seventh-round pick of the 2009 NFL Draft have the proper credentials to make it to Canton?
The 32-year-old wide receiver had a postseason to remember, going 26/36 with 388 yards. In the Super Bowl, he caught ten passes on twelve targets for 144 yards. Overall, Edelman has over 1,400 receiving yards and five touchdowns in the playoffs. He is second all-time in playoff catches for a receiver.
Unfortunately for Patriots fans, the postseason is not/shouldn’t be the be all end all for determining whether or not a player is eligible. Since 2009, Edelman has over 5,390 receiving yards, ranked 248th all-time. That does not sound as enticing when you really look into it. He is also 148th in all-time receptions. Add in the fact that he has only had two 1,000-yard seasons and has never scored above eight touchdowns, and his case is starting to look bleaker.
There are several players from the Patriots (past and present) who can safely say they are worthy of the Hall of Fame. Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Adam Vinatieri come to mind. Ty Law is a member due to his durability and overall ability on the field. It is safe to say Wes Welker may be more deserving than Edelman as of this moment.
Then there is the four-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs. It was not like it was long ago, it literally just happened. While there may very well be players who aren’t clean in the Hall of Fame, this is as visible of a crime as there ever has been. That must be taken into consideration, especially if the NFL actually wants to be true to their word about holding onto the integrity of the game.
Looking at the facts, Julian Edelman is indeed a very good player. With not enough service duty and stats to prove himself (for now at least), he still has a lot to work on. The true question is how long can he continue playing football, especially in today’s climate? Whether Edelman can truly step it up will be something to look out for.
Verdict: Not a hall of Famer.