OPINION: Could Julian Edelman Pull Off a Gronk and Join Tom Brady at Tampa Bay?

Published 04/13/2021, 9:59 AM EDT
NFL Football – Super Bowl LV – Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Kansas City Chiefs – Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida, U.S. – February 7, 2021 Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Rob Gronkowski celebrates scoring their first touchdown with Tom Brady REUTERS/Eve Edelheit

The news of Julian Edelman retiring came as a shock to New England Patriots fans. The franchise that recently lost two familiar faces in Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady will now have to soldier on without another key veteran for 2021.


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The wide receiver who was drafted by the franchise back in 2009 spent his entire NFL career with the Patriots. Winning three Super Bowls alongside Tom Brady and Co. Edelman even claimed the MVP award in Super Bowl LIII.


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Even in 2019, the quarterback had recorded over 1,000 receiving yards. But a chronic knee injury kept him out for most of the 2020 season. 

While Edelman opted for surgery to help his case, it offered little respite. And after failing a medical on Monday, the Pats terminated the wide receiver’s contract. Following this, Edelman’s announcement on social media followed.

After 11 long seasons, Edelman called time on his NFL career. But then again, is Edelman’s career really over? Recent history suggests that there could be a twist in the tale.


Could Julian Edelman pull off a Gronk? 

Former Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski had decided to retire from the sport at the end of the 2018 season. Only to return to the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2020. 

Gronkowski later said during an exchange that the tight end retired when he got to know that the New England Patriots were looking to move him on to Detroit as part of a trade deal.


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Joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers though proved to be a smart decision. In his first season with the Bucs, led by none other than Tom Brady, the franchise won its first Super Bowl in nearly 2 decades. 

What’s more, 2020 was the first season since 2011 that the tight end remained fit throughout the season. Gronkowski has suffered multiple injuries over the course of his career. But even that couldn’t stop the tight end from claiming his 4th Super Bowl title. 


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Sep 13, 2020; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs with the ball during the second half of a game against the Miami Dolphins at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Edelman could very well follow Gronkowski’s path. After all, if his knee permits, why wouldn’t he want to link up with the mercurial Tom Brady once again?

For now, Edelman has said that his body can take no more. But as the old saying goes, history always finds a way to repeat itself.


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Shivayan Roy

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Shivayan Roy is currently an NFL writer at EssentiallySports. After completing his Masters Diploma in Journalism from the Asian College of Journalism, Roy functioned as a reporter for Goal.com and extensively covered the FIFA U-17 World Cup.