As confetti coated the Mercedes-Benz Stadium turf, Julian Edelman and Tom Brady — owners of a combined five Super Bowl MVP awards — embraced in a lengthy hug.
The 41-year-old quarterback and his favorite target, who missed last season with a torn ACL, connected for 10 catches and 141 yards as the Patriots locked up their sixth Lombardi Trophy.
“What did I say to Julian?” Brady replied when asked about the moment. “I mean, he played the best game he has all year. So proud of him, what he’s accomplished coming back from his ACL.”
— NFL (@NFL) February 4, 2019
Edelman, who could be heard telling Brady “I love you, bro” as they wrapped each other up, acknowledged the road back from that injury — and a four-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs — wasn’t easy.
“It means the world,” Edelman said. “It’s been a long year. Psychologically, for an athlete to miss a game because of injury, it’s tough. But that was last year. This year we got it, and I can’t complain now.”
The performance will certainly help the slot specialist’s Hall of Fame candidacy. Edelman now stands at No. 2 on the all-time lists for both postseason catches and yardage. Plus, he has a Super Bowl MVP award to his name.
“Why does he rise to the occasions? He always does,” Brady said of his receiver. “He’s a fighter, man. That kid, he’s — I’m just so proud of him. He’s been an incredible player for this team in the playoffs and he just cemented himself, again, in the history of the NFL for what his accomplishments are.”
“I just tried to get open and catch a ball tonight. The hug with Tom tonight was about two people who love football. I’m living out a dream.”