Patriots

Morning sports update: Two of six Hall of Fame voters say they’d induct Julian Edelman

One cited what Bill Belichick said as a reason to vote Edelman into the Hall of Fame.

Jim Davis
Julian Edelman's playoff success isn't enough to make the Hall of Fame, according to some voters. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

The Red Sox won both games of their doubleheader on Wednesday, defeating the Twins 3-2 in Game 1 and winning 7-1 in Game 2. Alex Verdugo was the star of the day, making a diving catch to end Game 1 and hitting a home run while knocking in three RBIs in Game 2. Boston will look to sweep the four-game series and extend its winning streak to 10 at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Garrett Richards will start for the Red Sox.

The Bruins are back in action Thursday night, hosting the New York Islanders on consecutive days. The Islanders have won all five meetings so far this season. Tuukka Rask is expected to make his return to the ice on Thursday after playing just once since March 7 due to a back injury.

The Celtics conclude their three-game West Coast trip on Thursday when they face the Lakers. The defending champs will be without LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they will play their first home game in front of fans this season on Thursday. The Celtics won their first two games of the trip, defeating the Nuggets and Trail Blazers.

Finally, the Patriots were busy scouting Wednesday ahead of the draft later in April. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, along with a team executive and scout, went to Ohio State to watch Justin Fields’s second pro day. Bill Belichick did not attend the pro day.

The Julian Edelman Hall of Fame debate continues: Not long after Julian Edelman announced his retirement from football on Monday, the debate of whether or not he is a Hall-of-Famer began to dominate local and national radio and TV shows.

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The most important people in this debate are probably the Hall of Fame voters themselves. Boston Globe Patriots reporter Ben Volin asked six Hall of Fame voters if they’d vote for Edelman to receive the gold jacket when the time comes. If their feeling on Edelman is any indication of how the rest of the panel feels, then Edelman’s Hall of Fame chances are in doubt as just two of them said they would probably vote for Edelman.

For the four people that said they wouldn’t vote for Edelman, the common reasoning was that while he did have playoff success (three Super Bowl wins and a Super Bowl MVP), his regular-season numbers and accolades fall way short of being Hall of Fame worthy.

“We all look at championships, especially when it comes to quarterbacks, as a huge part of the résumé,” Detroit Free Press Lions beat reporter Dave Birkett told Volin. “But I’ve never gotten the sense that the voting bloc as a whole puts as much stock into championships when it comes to other positions.”

Even though Edelman is just second to legendary receiver Jerry Rice in playoff catches (118) and receiving yards (1,442), his regular-season numbers fall behind many of his peers. He ranks 75th in career receptions (620), 156th in receiving yards (6,822), and is tied at 261st for the most receiving touchdowns (36). Edelman also has no Pro Bowls or All-Pros to his name, which are accolades typically given to the league’s top receivers on a yearly basis.

A pair of voters won’t let Edelman’s unimpressive regular-season resume bog him down though in his Hall of Fame candidacy. ESPN NFL reporter Sal Paolantonio cited what Bill Belichick said was his definition of a Hall of Famer is in his reasoning to eventually vote Edelman for the Hall of Fame.

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“He said, ‘To me, it’s about the ability to win games and play your best against the top competition. Have you won championships?’ ” said Paolantonio said. “He basically put into words something that I’ve always considered the No. 1 criteria for Hall of Fame status. To me, that applies to Julian Edelman.”

Paolantionio later added that Edelman’s “postseason performance stands up better than anyone but Jerry Rice. That’s a pretty good sentence when you’re making a case to put Julian Edelman in the Hall of Fame.”

Longtime NFL writer Gary Meyers was the other voter to say he would vote for Edelman.

“To me, he checks all the boxes,” Myers said. “This game’s all about winning, and his biggest numbers came in the biggest games, and that’s what a Hall of Fame receiver does.”

Edelman does have support from former teammate and likely future Hall of Famer Rob Gronkowski to get inducted someday. Veteran running back LeSean McCoy shot down Edelman’s case.

Edelman won’t be eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2026.

Read more on Boston.com:

Trivia: Who are the three Patriots players that played a game during the Bill Belichick-era who are in the Hall of Fame?

(Answer at the bottom).

Hint: One of them is an offensive player.

Here are some throws Justin Fields made at his second pro day:

ESPN pundits speculate on potential trade scenarios for the Patriots on Draft Day:

On this day: On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first Black player to play a game in MLB history. Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, who he played with for his entire 10-year career.

Robinson had a successful career on the field while he dealt with hate off of it. The second baseman was named an All-Star six times, won an NL MVP, and won a World Series with the Dodgers. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 and on this day in 1997, MLB retired his No. 42 across the league. April 15 is now observed as Jackie Robinson Day across the league, with every player and umpire wearing No. 42 for the day.

Daily highlight:

Carlos Rodón pitched the first no-hitter of his career against the Indians on Wednesday and the 20th in White Sox history. Rodón carried a perfect game into the ninth inning, but a hit-by-pitch got an Indians player on base to end his perfect bid.

Trivia answer: Junior Seau, Randy Moss, and Ty Law.

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