Julian Edelman Says He Hasn't Ruled Out Unretirement

Since that April night 14 months ago, I've been asked a time or 200 if I thought Julian Edelman was really and truly retired. I guess it's a reasonable enough question. Born partly on how so many athletes pull this move where they announce they're done and then start working the media, putting it out there that they still have something left in the tank and before you know it, they're at another press conference with a pen in their hand and a sometimes unfamiliar hat on their head. Hell, Tom Brady did it few months ago. Rob Gronkowski did it before him and is on the verge of semi-doing it again. The only boxer in my lifetime who never did it was the late, great City of Champions champion Marvelous Marvin Hagler, who truly meant it that he'd go to Italy and make action movies before he'd ever give his corrupt sport a chance to make billions off a rematch with Sugar Ray Leonard. Another part of the line of questioning is simple fear. The idea that he'd pull a Gronk and come off the golf course to go catch Super Bowl touchdowns from Brady again. 

But throughout, I've maintained Edelman wouldn't crawl out of the career coffin Undertaker-style. One, because unlike Brady or Gronk, he got the send off he deserved. That he'd earned. All alone on the turf at Gillette, speaking direct to camera, with this heartfelt message that he'd given all he had. Because, it should be noted, unlike Brady or Gronk, he meant it. And because he had given all he had. At least in terms of knee cartilage. Him playing again would mean bone grinding on bone and a future wearing a wooden peg leg. (No disrespect to modern medicine, but I prefer a pirate motif to the way more efficient tungsten carbon alloys and space age polymers. But that's just me.) The problem is, when I insisted Edelman would never come back, I'd forgotten all about the Sunset Sports Media Festival in Zadar, Croatia. Where anything can happen. 

New York Post -  Former Patriots great Julian Edelman appears to be whistling a different tune about a possible NFL return.

Edelman seemed to leave the door open about potentially coming out of retirement during an appearance at the Sunset Sports Media Festival in Zadar, Croatia over the weekend.

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” Edelman said when asked if he’ll return to play in the NFL with his former teammate, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady.

“That’s called a little teaser. We’ll see. We’re staying in shape but you never know. But I’d probably go back to the Patriots. I love the Patriots. Foxborough Forever.”

It's the fucking Sunset Sports Media Festival. 

I get that the atmosphere of romance and history in Zadar, Croatia will get people all emotional and make them say crazy things. And just hearing him suggest he's not ruling it out has visions of Edelman buying back his No. 11 from DeVante Parker and snatching hyper-accurate spirals from Mac Jones at the end of precise open routes from the slot. 

But it's not all about romance. At some point common sense has to enter into the equation. Edelman just turned 36. And his knees are getting mailers from the AARP about all the discounts they can get for joining. He's a three-time champion who's a mortal lock for the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2025. And to Adam Schefter and me, earned his way into Canton:

The mental picture of him grinding it out trying to make it to the end of a 17-game regular season and expanded postseason, battling it out with Jakobi Meyers and Tyquan Thornton for snap, is not something I feel like dwelling on. Give me the memories we have. Give Edelman his present of going to obscure festivals in lands that have vampire issues. Don't ruin either of these realities with fantasies about him suddenly bouncing back to become 2019 Edelman. 

But if he does, let's make blood well sure it's here. Damned right it's Foxborough Forever. It's hard enough rooting against Brady and Gronk. Rooting against JE11 would be the death of me.