On Monday, New England Patriots great Julian Edelman has officially announced his retirement, but former teammate Rob Gronkowski had a bold prediction for his friend on Tuesday.
According to an interview on TMZ, Gronkowski predicted Edelman would follow in his footsteps and un-retire. When asked if there was a chance Edelman would come back this year and join him and Tom Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Gronkowski said there was a 69 percent chance of that happening.
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Gronkowski and Edelman are friends dating back to their time together as teammates on the Patriots. Last year when Gronkowski came out of retirement and joined Brady in Tampa Bay, there was talk Edelman wanted to reunite with them.
Edelman’s release on Monday wasn’t a huge surprise considering his age and battle with knee injuries. However, his retirement, while not wholly unforeseen, was a little less predictable. It also complicates the narrative many had adopted, which saw Edelman making his way to Tampa Bay to chase another Super Bowl ring with Brady and Gronk.
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Could Edelman Really Join the Buccaneers That Easily?
The Patriots terminated Edelman’s contract, which effectively made him a free agent. That means he could sign to play for any team in the NFL. However, Edelman did fail a physical, which it seemed both the team and player expected.
He has legit knee issues, and those problems would likely hamper his opportunity to play for any team. That said, if Edelman takes some weeks to continue to rehab his knee and feels well enough to pass a physical, he could return with no obligation to the Patriots.
The question surrounding a Brady, Gronk, and Jules reunion is how much do the Buccaneers need a soon-to-be 35-year-old receiver with bad knees?
The Bucs Signing Edelman Might Be More of a Favor to Brady
When Edelman’s retirement was announced, Brady was among a slew of people to take to social media to pay his respects to the all-time Patriots great. It seems clear the two men still have a bond.
On the biggest stage and in the biggest moments, you always came through. You never lost that chip on your shoulder and you never let anyone define you as a person or player. I’m proud of you Jules. Love you @edelman11 https://t.co/7i5Qb6msor
— Tom Brady (@TomBrady) April 13, 2021
Truthfully, when you look at the Bucs’ passing weapons: Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, and the emerging Tyler Johnson, it’s hard to imagine where Edelman would figure prominently on Tampa Bay’s depth chart.
Edelman could potentially be the fifth receiver, and that’s with us making the grand assumption that he could get healthy enough to be the best version of himself. Perhaps Gronk knows something we don’t, but as it stands, 69 percent sounds way too optimistic when it comes to predicting Edelman un-retiring to play anywhere.
The odds would logically take a hit when you consider the Bucs don’t appear to be starving at wide receiver for veteran talent. Perhaps he’ll do what Brady and Gronk did not, and that’s retire a Patriot.