Welcome to Boston.com’s Sports Q, our daily conversation, initiated by you and moderated by Chad Finn, about a compelling topic in Boston sports. Here’s how it works: You submit questions to Chad through Twitter, Facebook, email, and any other outlet you prefer. He’ll pick one each weekday to answer, then we’ll take the discussion to the comments. Chad will stop by several times per day to navigate. But you drive the conversation.
With Julian Edelman now in 2nd place for receptions in the postseason, his consistently high numbers in the regular season (when healthy) and his two great Super Bowl games, is it too early to put him Hall of Fame discussions? If so, how many more great seasons will he need for consideration? – Dave J.
Really interesting question, Dave, because a compelling case can be made for or against him. I think we can say that his regular season numbers will never match up to contemporary receivers who are in or will be in the Hall of Fame. He has 499 career receptions in the regular season. That’s 148th all-time and 23d among contemporaries. He has fewer catches than the likes of Pierre Garcon, Mike Wallace, and Golden Tate, none of whom are getting a mustard colored jacket. He’s scored just 30 receiving touchdowns, and has 5,390 receiving yards. Those aren’t close to Hall of Fame numbers.
But, then we have the playoffs, and the compelling part of his case. In 16 games, he has 98 postseason receptions, second only to Jerry Rice (151) all-time. He’s won two Super Bowls. In one he made one of the most extraordinary catches you’ll ever see in the middle of a comeback from a 25-point deficit. In the other, he scored the winning touchdown as the Patriots erased a 10-point fourth quarter lead.
To have a real Hall of Fame case, he needs another memorable Super Bowl moment. Lynn Swann’s Hall of Fame career was built on a couple of unforgettable highlights and being a star receiver on the four-time champion Steelers. Edelman was nothing like Swann in terms of style, but statistically they will be similar, and both will be NFL Films favorites until the end of time.
If I had to bet now, I would say Edelman will not make the Hall of Fame. There are too many receivers with far superior stats, and there will probably be a logjam in front of him. But he has a real case based on his postseason heroics … especially if he adds to them in the coming weeks.
But what does everyone else think? Does Julian Edelman have a case as a future Hall of Famer? I’ll hear you in the comments.