Former New England Patriots star Julian Edelman announced his retirement earlier this month. On Wednesday, April 21, he let fans know what was next for him.
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Edelman took to Twitter to announce some new partnerships and now be a part of the Inside the NFL cast on Showtime. The announcement came within a trailer similar to what he used when he revealed his plans to retire.
… Annnnd action! 🎥 @_coastpro is teaming up with @ViacomCBS! We’re gonna make movies, shows and docs on networks like Showtime, Nickelodeon and Paramount+. Speaking of which, I’m also joining the legendary cast at @insidetheNFL
Yalla, let’s get to work@aswissa @kylerschelling pic.twitter.com/ahWzaK3Bu6
— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) April 21, 2021
Edelman is a beloved figure–especially among Patriots Nation–and his presence on Inside the NFL might cause a spike in viewership in the Boston region.
You could make the argument Edelman’s popularity during the Patriots dynasty only trails Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and perhaps Rob Gronkowski.
Julian Edelman’s Brand
The quick transition to post-career activity shouldn’t come as a surprise. Edelman has been developing his brand for a while. Perhaps he took some pointers from his good friend Brady.
Edelman’s JE11 is a brand that is growing in popularity. Heisman Trophy winner and potential Patriots first-round pick DeVonta Smith was seen wearing it during Alabama’s spring game earlier this month.
LOOK: DeVonta Smith sports Julian Edelman apparel at the Alabama spring game.https://t.co/HYd6LowIhi pic.twitter.com/Ztb106Fowq
— 247Sports (@247Sports) April 17, 2021
During the 2020 season, Cam Newton showed respect to his teammate and wore JE11 attire as well.
Cam Newton rocking the new JE11 merch (and an upside-down visor). pic.twitter.com/Evp4aITzB4
— Zack Cox (@ZackCoxNESN) September 24, 2020
Is Rob Gronkowski’s Prediction Dead?
Edelman’s former teammate and current Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end Gronkowski made a bold prediction about his friend’s retirement.
Gronkowski told TMZ Sports he believed Edelman would come out of retirement and that there was a 69% chance he’d join him and Brady with the Buccaneers.
Edelman appears to get more comfortable in his retirement; there is a good chance that percentage might have dropped slightly. When you consider the severity of Edelman’s knee injury kept him off the field most of last season and caused him to fail a physical, which is what led to the termination of his contract with the Patriots; the chances of him returning weren’t high.
Edelman’s Replacement in the Slot May Be in the Draft
During his prime, Edelman contributed on a significant scale from the slot. Because of what Wes Welker and Edelman accomplished from the spot, it has become a signature role for the Patriots.
Players like Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers, and Gunner Olszewski might be capable of picking up Edelman’s role. However, there are a few players in the draft who could become dynamic performers from the slot.
Florida’s Kadarius Toney is one of the most impressive football athletes in the draft. His agility, speed, and balance are marvelous. Toney has a chance to be used the way another former Florida great was in college and the pros, Percy Harvin.
There’s also Ole Miss’ Elijah Moore, who is almost as shifty as Toney, but perhaps faster on the dead run. Another player who has been mentioned with the Patriots is D’Wayne Eskridge from Western Michigan. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see one of those players land in New England.