Jay C. Brandriet
Another football season has come and gone. The New England Patriots are viewing the NFL from the mountain top once again. Super Bowl 53 was a defensive masterpiece versus the usually high-powered Rams.
Julian Edelman put on a show Sunday. With know how and supreme quickness, he found himself continuously open on a day when things were clogged up. He was named the games MVP.
When the final whistle blew, some reputable names called Julian a “Hall of Fame player.” Several others backed this take. By Tuesday morning the topic had set in everywhere. Former players said and implied, to think Edelman is anywhere near that level is ridiculous. They brought up the pass heavy era he plays in. They mocked his regular season career. Some focused on his early year suspension, and used Tom Brady’s greatness to diminish Juilan’s shine. One former star receiver heard this claim, and just laughed.
Here is where I stand on this.
Julian has been a very good player. A go to security blanket. His reception total of 499 is proof of production. He’s scored 30 touchdowns through the air, and four more by punt return.
Here in the money time of year, Edelman is special.
He’s a three-time world champion.
He had nine grabs and a score vs Seattle’s “Legion of Boom.”
That clutch circus catch he came up with against Atlanta is iconic.
Edelman smoked the Rams last Sunday and took home a personal trophy.
He’s second all time in playoff catches and receiving yards to Jerry Rice.
EDELMAN’S BIGGEST PROBLEM IS NOT HIS FAULT
Julian’s Hall dilemma is not his performance, it’s math. It’s difficult to get the call from Canton. Ask Terrell Davis, Art Monk, and Cris Carter. It took Jerry Kramer 50 years after he retired to get in.
Put aside the active Larry Fitzgerald, Julio Jones, and Antonio Brown. Look at these retired receivers that are NOT in the HOF.
(Some are slam dunks, and some need mention.)
DOES EDELMAN BELONG IN THE HALL?
Nothing matters more than making winning plays. Because of his playoff dominance, Julian has built the foundation to a strong Hall of Fame argument. He’s mostly in. Let’s say “78 percent.” He needs some more quality scraps. It could be four more strong seasons, including his best one. Maybe it’s a 190 yard day in an AFC title game. Could he need one more ring?
What’s clear is, he’s arrived at a point where he matters to NFL history. There is no need to giggle. Julian Edelman as a Hall of Fame candidate is not a joke.
Jay C. Brandriet