Julian Edelman said he ‘can understand’ Martellus Bennett’s criticism of Jimmy Garoppolo

"A lot of guys got mad at it. I’m not going to lie, I got mad about it."

Jimmy Garoppolo Edelman Bennett
Jimmy Garoppolo, Martellus Bennett, and the Patriots offense huddles during a 2016 preseason game. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

As part of Julian Edelman ‘s wide-ranging discussion on a recently released episode of the “I Am Athlete” podcast, the former Patriot was asked for his take on some pointed comments about Jimmy Garoppolo.

The comments were made by another former Patriot, Martellus Bennett, during a 2021 interview on “Double Coverage with The McCourty Twins.” In the course of the discussion, Bennett opened up about Garoppolo’s short run as New England’s starter during the 2016 season (when Tom Brady was suspended for the first four games).

“We lost two games,” Bennett recalled of that season. “One of them was because Jimmy Garoppolo was being a b—-. He decided not to play right before the game. Jacoby [Brissett] came out and played with a f—ed up thumb and played his heart out, but Jimmy was just being a b—- about it all.


“You can’t win with a b—- for a quarterback,” Bennett bluntly added. “That was the whole thing with him: He didn’t want to come out and do anything because his agent was trying to protect his body or some s— like that. Which, I can’t fault him for that. But like, you should have made that decision on Thursday. Now it’s Sunday.”

Garoppolo missed the Week 4 loss to the Bills that season due to a shoulder injury he’d suffered two weeks earlier.

During Edelman’s more recent interview, he was asked to read Bennett’s comments about Garoppolo.

Afterward, Edelman shared his own recollection of the 16-0 loss against Buffalo.

“I mean, I don’t know, we’re all football players here,” Edelman said in reference to Garoppolo’s injury. “But Jacoby, he tore ligaments in his thumb in the win against [the Texans in Week 3]. So we go into Week 4 and I guess Jimmy was practicing and then decided not to play. Jacoby played with no ligaments in his thumb, which you can’t do that as a quarterback. You can’t grip [the football].

“A lot of guys got mad at it. I’m not going to lie, I got mad about it,” Edelman admitted of Garoppolo’s decision. “I sacrificed my body all day long. I was taking shots for this, numbing up that, ribs, broken ribs, shoulders, Grade 3 hanging on by limbs just to play. I can understand why Marty thinks like that.”


Edelman acknowledged that his own personal willingness to keep playing through injuries may have cost him money.

“You also have to look, hey, [Garoppolo] got paid $30 million,” said Edelman. “So maybe I’m the dumb guy who didn’t make as much money to sacrifice for that team. I guess I played for the memories, not the money.”


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