Edelman, who played his entire career with the New England Patriots, joined Peyton and Eli Manning during their “Monday Night Football” broadcast and told them that Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady tried to recruit him when he left the Patriots during the 2020 offseason.
Jan 20, 2019; Kansas City, MO, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) celebrates a touchdown with wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) during the first half of the AFC Championship game Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. (Mark Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports)
“(Tom) hit me up the first day he signed there, like, ‘You wanna come down?'” Edelman recalled. “I was like, ‘Absolutely not.'”
Edelman was still under contract with the Patriots when Brady left to join the Bucs, but 2020 ended up being his final season in the NFL. Back in 2013 when he was a free agent, Edelman was contemplating on joining Eli Manning and the New York Giants, but he ended up signing a one-year deal to stay with the Patriots.
Oct 10, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) during warmups before a game against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium. (Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports)
“It was pretty close,” Edelman told the Manning brothers. “I went and visited down there in Jersey and met with (Tom) Coughlin and had nothing but respect for the organization … but I looked at my choices of going back to the Pats … (and) Peyton, thank you for taking (Wes) Welker off our hands … and the rest is history. You guys are saying, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant.’ Well, ‘Almost a Giant, always a Patriot.'”
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, left, celebrates his touchdown pass to Julian Edelman, right, in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
The Patriots selected Edelman in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Kent State. He was converted into a wide receiver from a quarterback. He helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls and made a big catch in Super Bowl LI to help New England come back down 28-3 to beat the Atlanta Falcons.
He finished his career with 620 catches for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. He won the Super Bowl LIII MVP when the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3.