Morning Sports Update

Julian Edelman revealed why he almost left the Patriots in 2013

"I took a visit to the New York Giants, and they offered me a contract."

Julian Edelman
Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola celebrate a touchdown against the Steelers in Nov. 2013. Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

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Julian Edelman reflected on a crossroads moment: Julian Edelman played his entire NFL career with the Patriots before retiring in 2021.

Yet while the versatile wide receiver finished his time in New England by declaring “Foxborough forever,” there was apparently a moment where Edelman considered leaving the Patriots.

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As part of an interview for an upcoming documentary (“Julian Edelman: A Football Life,” set to premiere on NFL Network on Friday at 9 p.m. ET), Edelman revealed a crossroads moment in his carer in 2013.

According to the eventual three-time Super Bowl winner, he contemplated a departure from New England after Danny Amendola was signed as a free agent following Wes Welker’s move to the Broncos prior to that season.

“I was hurt,” Edelman said as transcribed by NESN’s Zack Cox. “I did everything [Bill Belichick] said, gave four years of my life, and then [the Patriots signed Amendola]. I’m not going to lie, I was pissed off. I was like, ‘Dude, you’re coming to take my keys to the Cadillac? Dog, what’s going on? I’m over here on a minimum deal. This guy’s getting $34 [million]?'”

Edelman, a seventh-round pick in 2009, had to that point not established himself as a starter. The team’s decision to bring in Amendola as a possible Welker replacement left Edelman stung.

“Looking back on it, I had nothing,” Edelman explained. “I [had done] nothing in the league. But as a kid, as a young guy, experiencing that for the first time, I was like, ‘[Expletive] Belichick. [Expletive] the Patriots. I hate everyone here. How are you going to do this to me?’ I took a visit to the New York Giants, and they offered me a contract.”

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He decided to stay in New England on what was just a one-year deal largely because of the chemistry he already had built with Tom Brady.

“I know how hard it is for receivers to gain the trust of Tom Brady, and we had a connection,” said Edelman. “If I’m going to go out and sign a one-year deal, do I want to go sign a one-year deal with a completely new team that knows nothing about me? I ultimately decided to sign a one-year deal with the Patriots. I think it was league minimum with incentives. So I signed that out in 2013 and went into the year.”

The move paid off for all parties. Edelman had a breakout year, catching 105 passes for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns (signing a longer-term deal after the season). He also quickly became close with Amendola, and the two helped form a strong partnership as part of the Patriots’ passing game amid a trio of championship runs between 2014-2018.

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