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Is Julian Edelman serious about an NFL comeback? Ex-Pats WR opens up originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
It's one thing to talk about making an NFL comeback. It's another thing entirely to actually do it.
Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman recently gave a "we'll see" when asked if he'd come out of retirement to play in the NFL again. Edelman had previously insisted he was done for good, so his apparent change of mood raised eyebrows.
On the latest episode of the "I AM ATHLETE" podcast, Edelman was asked if he's seriously considering suiting up for the first time since 2020 and gave a pretty insightful answer.
"The amount of work I have to put into my body to train, to make me confident -- like, that’s so much for the output because of the injuries, my knees, this, that. I’m not getting the same output," Edelman on the podcast. "So now that I’ve taken a year off and I’m not loading my body and compounding loads every single day, my body feels pretty straight, you know?"
Edelman dealt with a nagging knee injury in 2020 that required minor surgery during the season and played a role in his decision to retire. His knee has had nearly two years to heal, though, so it makes sense why he's feeling good now.
Still, Edelman is realistic about what a comeback would require.
"I’ve gone and dabbled and you go run routes. But then, you see when you run routes, the next day, like, all right, I’m not too bad, but I’m already like 10,000 reps behind I feel in my mind," Edelman said. "... If I wanna ball, I'm gonna have to go out and do it consistently time and time again."
We understand why Edelman has the itch to play again; he saw Rob Gronkowski come out of retirement to post two successful seasons with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while Brady is still going strong entering Year 23.
But Edelman also understands his body's limitations and knows he'd have to play a ton of catch-up this summer if he wants to compete at the highest level at age 36.
Considering Edelman's success in his second career as an analyst for "Inside the NFL" on Paramount+, it seems unlikely returns to the field in 2022. If he really can't stay away, though, it sounds like New England is his preferred destination.
"If I were to ever come back, I'd come back as a Pat, probably," Edelman added.