San Francisco 49ers v New England Patriots
Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

Julian Edelman’s future in New England is a bit clouded at the moment. The 34-year-old veteran was limited to just six games in 2020 due to a knee injury, which currently is leaving his career hanging in the balance. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, Edelman wants to play in 2021 but it’ll really come down to whether or not his knee will be healthy enough for him to do so. The receiver underwent a minor procedure in the midst of the 2020 season and while there appeared to be some hope that he’d be able to return later in the year, that ultimately never came to be. 

Per Rapoport, Edelman is continuing to rehab his knee, but this may not be something that fully recovers. Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston noted back in early February that it’s really more about managing the pain in Edelman’s knee than being able to repair it, which hardly instills much confidence heading into the thick of the offseason. 

Edelman is just a few years removed from a 100-catch season in 2019 where he totaled a career-high 1,117 yards receiving. That year, he also earned Super Bowl LIII MVP honors during New England’s most recent championship. While he was a highly productive player not too long ago, his body may hold him back from being the force that we’re accustomed to seeing on a weekly basis in Foxborough. 

Along with the injury, Edelman’s contract should take some focus when talking about his future in New England this offseason. The Patriots could clear around $3.5 million off their cap if they were to cut Edelman, who owns a $6.1 million cap hit for 2021. While the club isn’t exactly strapped for cap space (projected to have the third-most in the league), it wouldn’t be surprising to see them try to give Edelman a haircut to bring that number down if he is able to suit up next year.