There are few players I want in the foxhole when the game is on the line. Julian Edelman is one of those guys. Edelman may look like a big-city bartender who swoons ladies with his beard and immaculate pompadour, but he is the most clutch wide receiver in the NFL. That may be a bold claim, but when the game is on the line, No.11 is going to deliver.
Whenever Edelman decides to hang up his cleats, the whispers about him being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be real. In fact, they are already transpiring.
Edelman won the Super Bowl LIII MVP after carving up the Los Angeles Rams with 10 receptions and 141 yard,s and at times he made Rams defenders — specifically Marcus Peters — look like they were ghost-riding the whip.
In wake of Edelman’s record-setting performance, many football experts pegged him as a likely candidate to have a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio.
In comparison to the wide receivers in his era, Edelman is a good player, but in the playoffs, he’s insanely good. That is what complicates Edelman’s HOF candidacy. His regular season stats are pale in comparison to the game's elite wide receivers, but in the postseason he is on par with Jerry Rice from a statistical standpoint.
To no avail, Edelman has been an intricate piece in the Patriots dynasty, especially over the past five years, but let’s not etch him into football lore, where only a chosen group roams. Edelman is a dynamic slot receiver that has had a Robert Horry-like run in many postseasons. Despite the knock on Edelman's HOF legitimacy, I do want to see him recognized in some regard. Whether it's being inducted into the Patriots Ring of Honor or something on a lesser scale, he deserves some recognition, but not the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here's why.
Wide receivers have a hard time getting inducted
I have a theory why wide receivers must wait the longest to get into the Hall of Fame, but that’s another story for a different day. Just last week, St. Louis Rams legend Isaac Bruce was passed over for the fifth time. Bruce, also a Super Bowl-winning receiver has over 1,000 career receptions and well over 15,000 receiving yards, not to mention over 90 TDs. In addition to Bruce, Hall of Fame wide receivers such as Terrell Owens, Andre Reed, Tim Brown, Sterling Sharpe and Art Monk had to wait their turn to get in after having All-Pro careers.
Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t
Julian Edelman is in the top two for most receiving yards in the postseason, and that’s a great feat, but the Hall of Fame is based off your whole body of work — that includes the regular season. Edelman is ranked no. 247 in total receiving yards. Wide receivers from Mark Duper to Cris Collinsworth to Odell Beckham Jr., have more yards than Edelman. To rub more salt in the wound, running backs Ronnie Harmon and Keith Byars also have more receiving yards than Edelman. Ouch.
John Taylor isn’t in the Hall of Fame
A lot of people don’t know who John Taylor is, but I’m sure if you mention his name in Cincinnati, there will be bedlam in the Queen City. Like Edelman, Taylor was a huge piece in a dynasty. Taylor lined up opposite from Jerry Rice and was arguably one of Joe Montana’s go-to targets in the clutch. Taylor also played a big role when Steve Young took over the reins from Joe Cool. Taylor’s career numbers are like Edelman’s, and he also has three Super Bowl rings. Although he does not have a Super Bowl MVP, he has one of the biggest plays in Super Bowl history.
He doesn’t fit the criteria of the modern-day wide receiver
In a traditional sense, Edelman is far from being a Hall of Famer. In most cases, the Hall of Famers must sustain a Pro Bowl or All-Pro level of play for several years. Guys like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald, Odell Beckham Jr., DeAndre Hopkins and Michael Thomas have had either multiple 100 reception seasons, consecutive 1,000-yard seasons or both. Edelman has not had a consecutive streak of either, which proves that the longevity during the regular season is not there.
He only has two claims to enter the Hall
Championships and playoff stats. To some, this may be unfair, but if this was the criteria for wide receivers to be inducted in the Hall, gold jackets would be given out like Oprah gives out cars.
I know this isn’t baseball, but if Edelman were an MLB player, he wouldn’t be held in such high regard. This season, Edelman served a four-game suspension for using PEDs. It’s laughable to see that Barry Bonds did not get enough votes to be entered in Cooperstown, while Edelman is being celebrated as the Super Bowl MVP and is garnering HOF consideration when his playing days are over. Absolutely laughable.