The Patriots let their top wide receiver leave in free agency last offseason, and may do the same this year, too.
Julian Edelman has not been able to reach a deal on a new contract and will shop his services to other teams when free agency begins at 4 p.m. today, a league source told the Globe.
Edelman, entering his sixth NFL season, is coming off a breakout year in which he led the Patriots with 105 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns in 2013. The source said that Edelman has had extensive talks with the Patriots through Tuesday and will continue to negotiate with the team, but he will test the market, as well. It is believed that Cleveland, Baltimore and Houston also have interest in Edelman, who could be looking to better the $10 million guaranteed that the Patriots gave Danny Amendola last season.
Edelman would like to return to the Patriots, but doesnít seem intent on giving them a hometown discount. Last year, he barely received any interest in free agency and he returned to the Patriots on a 1-year, league-minimum contract with incentives.
After establishing himself as the teamís top receiver, Edelman wants to cash in this time, especially since big NFL pay days only come once or twice in a career.
ďItís just business,Ē the source said.