Tom Brady is a Buccaneer, which makes sense only because right now nothing makes sense.
As wild as it is for fans to come to terms with seeing Brady in a Bucs jersey (preferably the creamsicle throwbacks), it’s presumably nothing compared to how Julian Edelman is feeling. The Patriots’ veteran wide receiver has played his entire nine-year with Brady, and some recent social media activity suggests he wants that to continue.
Edelman “liked” a tweet from Hall-of-Famer Deion Sanders that claimed Brady playing without Edelman is like “(Michael) Jordan without Scottie Pippen, peanut butter without the jelly and Ice Tea without Sugar.” Edelman’s account has since unliked the tweet, but it’s still easy to wonder if he has any desire to remain teammates with Brady.
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The direction the Patriots are headed is unclear. In typical fashion, they let key players like linebackers Kyle Van Noy and Jamie Collins sign big-money contracts elsewhere in 2020. Safety Devin McCourty and guard Joe Thuney are back, so maybe New England is loading up to remain a contender. It all seems to depend on who lines up under center.
Edelman, who will be 34 in May, could be on the move if the Patriots want to get younger. Bill Belichick has a known preference for moving on from players a year early rather than a year too late, and Edelman is coming off a productive season with 100 catches and 1,117 yards. Of course, the Patriots wide receiving corps was already a weak spot in 2019, and trading Edelman won’t help that if they’re trying to contend for a Super Bowl in 2020.
2020 mock draft: Bucs get more support for Brady at No. 13
Brady will be in a new team’s system for the first time in his career. In addition to the familiarity of a former teammate, Edelman in Tampa would give Brady an elite trio with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The Pats could get a mid-round pick (Tampa Bay has picks No. 76, 117 and 139) in a draft with great depth at wide receiver. A potential trade seems to make sense for both sides.
Edelman posted a video thanking Brady with Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” as the background music.
The NFL is a business, but it still doesn’t feel right for these two to play on different teams. If the Pats or Bucs call each other, maybe that won’t be the case.