AFC Notes: Julian Edelman, Bills, Dolphins, Jets

     

Julian Edelman

Patriots’ WR Julian Edelman announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, prompting statements from CEO Robert Kraft and HC Bill Belichick.

Julian Edelman is one of the great success stories in our franchise’s history,” said Kraft, via Patriots.com. “There aren’t many players who earn an NFL roster spot at a position they have never played before. Julian not only did that as a seventh-round draft selection, but he is retiring with the second-most career receptions in franchise history and as a three-time Super Bowl Champion, including his last as Super Bowl MVP. No one was more committed to his craft and honing his skills than Jules. His explosiveness off the line, quickness in his cuts, and elusiveness after the catch made him one of the hardest players to defend throughout his career. His clutch catches in our biggest games and overall toughness made him a fan favorite. Over the past 12 years, I have enjoyed watching him grow as a player, as a person, and as a father. In 2019, I had the privilege of traveling to Israel with Julian, which might be the only place where he is more popular than here in New England.”

“By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all,” said Belichick. “Few players can match Julian’s achievements, period, but considering his professional trajectory and longevity, the group is even more select. It is historic. This is a tribute to his legendary competitiveness, mental and physical toughness and will to excel. Day in and day out, Julian was always the same: all out. Then, in the biggest games and moments, with championships at stake, he reached even greater heights and delivered some of his best, most thrilling performances. For all Julian did for our team, what I may appreciate the most is he was the quintessential throwback player. He could, and did, do everything – catch, run, throw, block, return, cover, and tackle – all with an edge and attitude that would not allow him to fail under any circumstance. Julian Edelman is the ultimate competitor and it was a privilege to coach him.”

  • After having his contract terminated for a failed physical today, Edelman becomes eligible for injury protection benefit, per the CBA, and can now collect up to $2 million. (Adam Schefter)

Bills

  • NJ.com’s Mike Kaye outlines a potential trade for Eagles TE Zach Ertz, with Philadelphia sending the veteran and their No. 37 overall pick in the second round to the Bills for their first-round pick at No. 30. 
  • According to the trade value chart, the difference in those picks is roughly a third-round selection, which is what the Eagles reportedly want for Ertz. 
  • The move would give the Bills the upgrade at tight end they’ve been seeking without having to give up a pick, while it would move the Eagles up the board to potentially fill another need like wide receiver.
  • Sal Capaccio thinks the Bills roster is currently light in the secondary and on the offensive line. 
  • Beyond that, Capaccio could see the Bills bringing in competition for both the kicker and punter positions.
  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says the Bills are eyeing Vanderbilt OLB Andre Mintze as an undrafted free agent if he isn’t selected. 
  • Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr. had a second meeting with the Bills. (Justin Melo)

Dolphins

Jets

Former Jets QB Sam Darnold admitted how difficult it was to go through the offseason with his name in trade rumors.

“That was tough. I’m not gonna lie,” Darnold said, via NFL.com. “That was a tough part for me. Just because I’m a planner. I like to have things planned out, and what the next step was going to be and just the uncertainty there was, for lack of a better term, driving me insane. So now that I knew, when I found out, it was just such a relief to find out the news and understand where my next stop was gonna be.”

“I think, for me, any time you go somewhere and you set lofty goals and those goals aren’t met, that’s always tough for me. When I heard the news that they wanted to trade me, it was tough,” Darnold continued. “Any time you’re not wanted somewhere, that’s always a tough pill to swallow.

Darnold said that he had lofty expectations for himself after being drafted by the Jets in 2018.

“Obviously, getting drafted as high as I did, my expectations were to go in there, play 20 years and win Super Bowls,” Darnold said, via ESPN. “That was the dream, but obviously it didn’t work out.

  • Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says the Jets are one of the teams showing interest in Nebraska TE Jack Stoll as an undrafted free agent. 
  • He adds the Jets are also showing a lot of interest in Oklahoma State OLB Calvin Bundage
  • Auburn S Jordyn Peters had a virtual meeting with the Jets. (Justin Melo)

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