The misguided takes began to flow not long after the MVP of Super Bowl LIII was named. Julian Edelman . . . Hall of Famer?
No. No. And no.
Look, Edelman has played a key role in three Super Bowl championships for the Patriots. But the key word is role. He’s a role player, a slot receiver who has a specific skill set that has a specific impact that hasn’t translated into the kind of production and career accomplishments that would transcend the limited part he plays in the Patriots’ success.
Yes, it’s an important role. But if he wasn’t doing it, someone else would be.
Edelman is the guy who benefits from a scheme that takes full advantage of the slot receiver, creating mismatches and openings and putting him in the right place at the right time when the right quarterback throws the right pass. Again, Edelman’s role has been critical to the team’s success. But it’s not the kind of thing that vaults him toward the game’s immortals, at least not based on his current career achievements.
Consider his statistics. In 10 NFL seasons, he has two 1,000-yard receiving performances. He has 499 regular-season catches and 5,390 regular-season receiving yards. That puts him in a tie for 148th in all-time receptions and at 248 in all-time receiving yards. With only 30 receiving touchdowns, he’s well out of the top 250.