Is Julian Edelman a Hall of Famer?
Foxborough, MA - In the wake of Super Bowl LIII, many NFL fans and analysts were quick to remark that the game was an exclamation point on the careers of head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Winning their sixth title together, they now have as many on their own as the winningest NFL franchises. This sixth title was just another reason why they are surefire Hall of Famers whenever they decide to retire from the game and it was also a solid reason for why they are the greatest to ever coach and throw the ball, respectively.
But there was a much more interesting argument that sprung up in the wake of the game that sent everyone into a tizzy and pretty much divided the NFL world instantly. Julian Edelman might just be a Hall of Famer.
To make it perfectly clear, I am very biased towards the New England Patriots so, to me, Edelman's Hall of Fame case is a no brainer. However, I can also understand the argument against his case for football immortality.
Regular season statistics are a major red flag about Edelman's case. The slot receiver does not have five hundred receptions and barely cracks the top one hundred and fifty for the history of that particular NFL leaderboard. He has just over five thousand receiving yards and only thirty touchdowns in his ten year NFL career that also lost a season and a quarter to injuries and suspensions. If the argument was that Edelman deserved to be in the Hall of Fame for his regular season numbers then that would also place receivers like Pierre Garcon, Ted Ginn, Jr., and his New England predecessor, Wes Welker, into the Hall. It just wouldn't make sense.
However, Edelman's case comes from his post-season performances. He made one of the greatest catches in football history during Super Bowl LI when the Patriots came back against the Atlanta Falcons and scored the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks. He's won three rings and was just named Super Bowl MVP with a show-stopping performance against the Los Angeles Rams. He is second all-time (behind only Jerry Rice) for post-season receptions and receiving yards, as well as five touchdowns.
To me, I think one of the two greatest post-season wide receivers to ever play in the NFL should be in the Hall of Fame. He's not a conventional Canton candidate, but he fundamentally changed the way football is played and he altered NFL history, lore, and legacies. You cannot tell the story of football, especially the past decade of football, without talking about Edelman. That alone is enough to be in the Hall of Fame.