Julian Francis Edelman (born May 22, 1986) is an American football wide receiver and punt returner for the New England Patriots of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Kent State and the College of San Mateo as a quarterback. He was drafted by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Edelman primarily plays in the slot on offense and as a punt returner; he has also been pressed into service as a cornerback at times when the Patriots have been shorthanded on defense.
Edelman with the Patriots in 2013
|No. 11 – New England Patriots|
|Born:||May 22, 1986|
Redwood City, California
|Height:||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Weight:||198 lb (90 kg)|
|NFL Draft:||2009 / Round: 7 / Pick: 232|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2018|
|Player stats at PFR|
Edelman is one of the most productive receivers in post-season history, ranking second overall (behind Jerry Rice) in both post-season receiving yards and post-season receptions. He has played in four Super Bowls (XLVI, XLIX, LI, and LIII). In each of the last three (all Patriots wins), he led all wide receivers in receiving yards. He was named Super Bowl MVP for Super Bowl LIII, in which he had 10 catches for 141 yards receiving, more than half of his team's total receiving yardage. He holds the Super Bowl records for career punt returns (8) and first-half receptions in a single game (7). Edelman is the first Jewish football player to be named Super Bowl MVP.
Edelman was born in Redwood City, California, to Angela (née Gole) and Frank Edelman, a mechanic who owns an A-1 Auto Tech. He has two siblings, Jason and Nicole. According to the Patriots' media office, Julian was originally raised as a Christian, and his ancestry includes Greek, English, Scottish, Irish, Ashkenazi Jewish, and German. Edelman's father is Jewish. His mother was born in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, to German parents who had lived in Belgium.
He was the quarterback for Woodside High School in Woodside, California, and as a senior, he led the Wildcats to a 13–0 record in 2004. During his high school career, Edelman had 2,237 yards and 29 touchdowns passing, in addition to 964 yards and 13 touchdowns rushing.
After high school, Edelman spent a year attending the College of San Mateo. There, he threw for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns, rushed for a school-record 1,253 yards and 17 touchdowns. He then transferred to Kent State University, where he majored in business management. At Kent State, Edelman was a three-year starter at quarterback. His senior year, Edelman was the Golden Flashes' leading passer, completing 56% of his passes (153 of 275 passes for 1,820 yards), throwing 13 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was also their leading rusher, gaining 1,370 yards on 215 attempts (an average of 6.4 yards per carry) and scoring 13 touchdowns. His total offense broke Joshua Cribbs's single-season school record, set in 2003.
|Ht||Wt||40-yard dash||10-yd split||20-yd split||20-ss||3-cone||Vert jump||Broad||BP|
|5 ft 10 3⁄8 in
|4.52 s||1.52 s||2.58 s||3.92 s||6.62 s||36 1⁄2 in
|10 ft 3 in
|All values from Kent State Pro Day|
The New England Patriots, who had conducted private workouts with Edelman before the 2009 NFL Draft, selected him with the 27th pick of the seventh round (232nd overall), ahead of Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer, who joined the Patriots as a free agent. Several analysts suggested that the Patriots may have selected Edelman for his potential in a Wildcat formation. On July 16, 2009, Edelman signed a four-year contract with the Patriots that included a $48,700 signing bonus.
2009 season: Rookie year
Edelman scored his first professional points on August 13, 2009, in a pre-season game against the Philadelphia Eagles, returning a punt 75 yards for a touchdown, and made the team over former Eagles wide receiver Greg Lewis, for whom the Patriots had given up a fifth-round draft pick in 2009.
Edelman missed the Patriots' Week 1 game against the Buffalo Bills with an ankle injury, but was activated for and made his first career start in the Patriots' 16–9 loss in Week 2 against the New York Jets, which was also the first game Wes Welker had missed since becoming a Patriot in 2007. Edelman led all receivers with eight receptions for 98 yards, and added 38 yards on two kickoff returns and 2 yards on a punt return, for a total of 138 all-purpose yards.
Edelman broke his arm in the Patriots' 59–0 rout of the Tennessee Titans, and did not accompany the Patriots on their trip to London to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. At the time of his injury, Edelman was leading all rookies with 21 receptions. He returned with the Patriots' Week 10 game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he scored his first official NFL touchdown on a 9-yard reception from Brady.
When Welker was sidelined for the season after tearing his ACL and MCL against the Houston Texans, Edelman was once again called on to fill Welker's role; Edelman caught 10 of the 15 passes thrown to him for 103 yards, the first 100-yard game of his NFL career. He finished the regular season with 37 receptions for 359 yards and one touchdown. He also made six punt returns as well as 11 kickoff returns combining 304 yards in all on 17 returns.
In the Patriots' Wild Card Round playoff loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Edelman caught six passes from Brady for 44 yards, including both of the Patriots' touchdowns. Edelman became the first rookie to score two receiving touchdowns in one postseason game since David Sloan did so for the Detroit Lions in the 1995 season.
In the 2010 season, Edelman saw a decrease in playing time; through 15 games, having just four receptions for 14 yards. In the Week 17 game against the Miami Dolphins, with Welker, Deion Branch, and Aaron Hernandez inactive, Edelman capitalized with three receptions for a total of 72 yards, and also with a 94-yard punt return touchdown. It was the first punt return touchdown by a Patriot since Troy Brown returned one against the Carolina Panthers in the Week 17 of the 2001 season, and the longest punt return in Patriots franchise history, eclipsing an 89-yard return by Mike Haynes in 1976.
Edelman set a franchise record by averaging 15.3 yards per return, which was second in the league after the Bears' Devin Hester. For the 2010 season, Edelman played in 15 games with seven receptions for 86 yards and 321 return yards on 21 punt return opportunities. In the Divisional Round against the New York Jets, Edelman had a 12-yard reception in the 28–21 loss.
During the 2011 season, Edelman was used primarily as a kick and punt returner. During the Patriots' Week 10 game against the New York Jets, because of injuries to the Patriots' secondary, he was pressed into service as a defensive back during the fourth quarter; he earned his first tackle on defense by stopping running back LaDainian Tomlinson on a play in which Tomlinson injured his MCL.
During the Patriots' Week 11 game on Monday Night Football against the Kansas City Chiefs, he played defensive back in nickel and dime situations. He also returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown, which helped him earn his first AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award. In Week 12, he was nominated for the NFL's "Hardest Working Man" for his Week 12 performance against the Philadelphia Eagles, in which he made an open-field tackle on Vince Young to prevent a touchdown. For the 2011 season, Edelman played 13 games with four receptions for 34 yards and 584 return yards on 40 kickoff-punt combined returning opportunities.
In the AFC Championship, on January 22, 2012, against the Baltimore Ravens, Edelman played on 27 of 67 offensive snaps at wide receiver, catching one pass that converted a third down attempt, and 27 of 73 defensive snaps at cornerback, often covering the Ravens' Anquan Boldin; Edelman was credited with a forced fumble on the Ravens' final drive. The Patriots went on to win the AFC Championship, but lost Super Bowl XLVI to the New York Giants. Edelman had three kickoff returns for 73 net return yards in the game.
Edelman's snap count increased in the first two games of the 2012 season, including a Week 2 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals in which he started over Wes Welker. After suffering an injury in the Patriots' Week 3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, Edelman was inactive for the next three games. He then saw limited duty until the Patriots' record-tying Week 11 win against the Indianapolis Colts, in which he had a career day. Edelman caught five passes for 58 yards and a two-yard touchdown, picked up 47 yards on a single rushing attempt on a reverse play, and returned two punts for a total of 117 yards. The first of those punt returns was a 68-yard punt return for a touchdown, giving Edelman three punt return touchdowns, tying the Patriots franchise mark. In total, Edelman had 105 yards of total offense and 222 all-purpose yards with two touchdowns.
Four days later, on Thanksgiving Day, Edelman scored two more touchdowns in the second quarter of the Patriots' victory over the New York Jets, in which they tied a franchise record with five touchdowns and 35 points in one quarter; he recovered a Jets' fumble and returned it 22 yards on kick-off return, and then caught a 56-yard touchdown pass from Tom Brady. Although he left early in the third quarter with a head injury, he nevertheless became the first player since the AFL–NFL merger with both a receiving touchdown and a return touchdown in consecutive games. In a game against the Miami Dolphins on December 2, Edelman broke his right foot and was placed on injured reserve. He missed the remainder of the season. Overall in 2012, Edelman played in nine games with 21 receptions for 235 yards and 301 return yards on 20 kickoff-punt combined return opportunities.
Edelman became a free agent after the 2012 season. He re-signed with New England on a one-year deal on April 10, 2013.
In the 2013 season opener, Edelman scored both of New England's touchdowns in their 23–21 win over the Buffalo Bills. He also had three punt returns for a total of 32 yards, which gave him a career total of 75 returns for 975 yards. Edelman became for the moment the NFL's all-time leader in career punt return average, with 13.0 yards per return, surpassing the 12.8-yard average of former Chicago Bear George McAfee.
Edelman had nine catches on 11 attempts for 110 yards and two touchdowns in a historic Week 12 Patriot home comeback victory over the Denver Broncos; the Patriots overcame a 24-point halftime deficit to score 31 unanswered points and the winning field goal in the closing minutes of overtime. Edelman outperformed Denver's triplet star wide receivers combined. In Week 17, Edelman became the third Patriots player in team history to catch over 100 passes in a season in the Patriots' 34–20 win over the Buffalo Bills in their second divisional matchup. 2013 became a breakout season for Edelman as he played in all 16 games making 105 receptions for 1,056 receiving yards and 35 punt return opportunities for 374 yards. The Patriots won the AFC East and faced off against the Indianapolis Colts in the Divisional Round. In the 43–22 victory, he had six receptions for 84 receiving yards. In the AFC Championship against the Denver Broncos, he had 10 receptions for 89 receiving yards in the 26–16 loss.
Edelman started 14 games for the Patriots in 2014. He had 92 receptions for 972 receiving yards, as well as four touchdowns. In a Week 9 matchup against the Denver Broncos, Edelman returned a punt 84 yards for his fourth career return touchdown, passing Troy Brown for the most punt return touchdowns in Patriots history. In a Week 14 match up against the San Diego Chargers, Edelman caught a pass from Tom Brady then broke two tackles and ran for 69 yards for a touchdown, it would be the final touchdown of the game that led the Patriots to a 23–14 win.
The Patriots won the AFC East and returned to the playoffs. Edelman recorded his first NFL touchdown pass on his first-ever NFL pass attempt in the Patriots' Divisional Round game against the Baltimore Ravens. After receiving a lateral pass from Brady, Edelman threw a forward pass to Danny Amendola, who scored a 51-yard touchdown to tie the game at 28–28. According to Pro-Football-Reference.com, the pass was the longest touchdown pass thrown by a non-quarterback player in NFL playoff history, and makes Edelman one of six NFL players with a perfect postseason passer rating of 158.3. In the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts, he had nine receptions for 98 receiving yards in the 45–7 victory.
In Super Bowl XLIX against the Seattle Seahawks, Edelman led all receivers in yardage with 109 yards on nine receptions (teammate Shane Vereen had 11 receptions). His touchdown reception with 2:02 left in the fourth quarter—his only touchdown reception of the postseason—was the final go-ahead score of the game, putting the Patriots up 28–24. For the postseason as a whole, Edelman led all receivers in both receptions (26) and receiving yards (281).
On September 10, Edelman started for the Patriots against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the season-opening game on Thursday Night Football. He led the Patriots in yards and receptions, recording 11 receptions for 97 yards, in the 28–21 victory. In the Patriots' second game of the season against the Buffalo Bills, Edelman got 11 catches, which made it the first time in his career he had back-to-back games with at least 10 catches. Edelman then caught four passes on five targets for 120 yards, against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 5.
Against the New York Giants on November 15, Edelman suffered an injury to his fifth metatarsal on his left foot that required him to undergo foot surgery on November 16, 2015. He was expected to be back on the field in six to eight weeks, in time for the playoffs, though that was contingent on the recovery process. Through nine games, Edelman had racked up 61 catches for 692 yards and seven touchdowns. Edelman returned for the Divisional Round against the Kansas City Chiefs. Edelman had 10 catches for 100 yards to help the Patriots defeat the Chiefs 27–20 and advance to the AFC Championship game for the fifth consecutive year. In the AFC Championship, Edelman had 7 receptions for 53 yards, however the Patriots lost 20–18 to the Denver Broncos. For his efforts in 2015, Edelman was ranked 87th on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.
On September 15, 2016, Edelman was fined $26,309 for a hit on a defenseless player where he hit linebacker Deone Bucannon helmet-to-helmet. In Week 13, against the Los Angeles Rams, he had eight receptions for 101 yards in the 26–10 victory. In Week 17, Edelman got a block by newcomer wide receiver Michael Floyd on a catch and run that led to a career-long 77-yard touchdown in a 35–14 win over the Miami Dolphins. He finished the game with eight receptions for 151 yards including the 77-yard touchdown, earning him AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He became the first Patriots wide receiver to receive the award since Randy Moss in 2007. He finished the season with a new career-high 1,106 receiving yards on 98 catches. For his efforts in 2017, Edelman was ranked 71st by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
In the Divisional Round against the Houston Texans, Edelman caught his 70th postseason pass, setting a new Patriots franchise record, breaking the previous one held by Wes Welker. Edelman recorded eight catches for 137 yards in the win over the Texans. With the victory over the Texans, the Patriots set a new NFL record with their sixth straight AFC Championship Game appearance. In the AFC Championship, Edelman caught eight passes for 118 yards in the 36–17 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Patriots advanced to an NFL record ninth Super Bowl appearance.
During Super Bowl LI against the Atlanta Falcons, Edelman made five catches for 87 yards. The highlight was an unusually difficult catch in the fourth quarter, where the pass was first tipped into the air by cornerback Robert Alford and it appeared that it would fall incomplete, but Edelman and three defenders (Alford, Ricardo Allen, and Keanu Neal) lunged at the ball, and, after it bounced off Alford's leg, Edelman made the reception just inches above the ground. It was ruled a catch on the field and withstood a challenge from Falcons head coach Dan Quinn. NFL Films called the play, which was chosen for the cover of Sports Illustrated, "the greatest catch in Super Bowl history" in a YouTube video. Edelman's catch sustained a historic comeback for the Patriots, who trailed the Falcons 28–3 late in the third quarter before winning 34–28 in overtime. In the offseason, Edelman was ranked 71st by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.
On June 8, 2017, Edelman signed a two-year, $11 million contract extension with the Patriots, with $9 million guaranteed through the 2019 season. On August 25, in the team's third preseason game against the Detroit Lions, Edelman completely tore his ACL, which prematurely ended his 2017 season. He was placed on injured reserve on September 2, 2017. Without Edelman, the Patriots finished 13–3 and reached Super Bowl LII. The Patriots lost 41–33 to the Philadelphia Eagles.
In February 2018, it was reported that Edelman expected to be ready to play by the 2018 training camp. On June 7, it was announced that Edelman was expected to be suspended for four games due to a violation of the policy against using performance-enhancing drugs. On June 26, Edelman appealed the suspension; on July 3, his appeal was denied. Edelman missed the first four games of the season, and was activated on October 2. He played on Thursday Night Football against the Indianapolis Colts, where he caught seven passes for 57 yards.  In Week 8, against the Buffalo Bills, he had nine receptions for 104 yards in the victory on Monday Night Football. In Week 10, in a loss to the Tennessee Titans, he posted nine receptions for 104 yards once again. On December 29, Edelman was fined $63,504 for three personal foul penalties in Week 16. Overall, he finished the 2018 season with 74 receptions for 850 receiving yards and six touchdowns. The Patriots finished with an 11–5 record and earned the #2 seed in the AFC in the playoffs.
In the Divisional Round against the Los Angeles Chargers, he had nine receptions for 151 yards in the Patriots' 41–28 victory. In the AFC Championship against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had seven receptions for 96 yards in the 37–31 overtime victory. In Super Bowl LIII, in a 13–3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams, Edelman caught 10 passes on 12 targets for 141 yards, an effort for which he was named MVP. He became the first wide receiver to win Super Bowl MVP since Santonio Holmes did so in Super Bowl XLIII in 2009. He finished the postseason with 26 receptions for 388 yards, totals high enough to move him into second-place all-time in playoff receptions and receiving yards behind Jerry Rice.
Edelman's MVP award drew criticism as it came in the same season he was suspended for using an unspecified performance-enhancing substance, although some articles noted that much of the criticism came from baseball writers. The NFL prohibits players suspended for PED use from receiving awards given by the league or the NFL Players' Association. In a post-Super Bowl interview, Edelman apologized, saying "it'll never happen again."
|Led the league|
|2017||NE||0||0||Did not play due to injury|
|2012||NE||0||0||Did not play due to injury|
|2017||NE||0||0||Did not play due to injury|
Super Bowl records
- Most receptions, first half: 7
- Most punt returns in a career: 8
Edelman has been given several nicknames by both fans and teammates. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady nicknamed him "Minitron" after a spike in Edelman's production; the nickname is a play on "Megatron," the nickname for former Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson. Cornerback Darrelle Revis nicknamed him the "Energizer Bunny," citing that Edelman "never quits." Edelman himself has said his favorite given nickname is "The Squirrel": "Guys call me Squirrel because one time on the sideline I was yelling 'Don't let me get squirrely out there.'"
Although both the Kent State and Patriots websites listed Edelman as 6' 0", Edelman himself has stated that he is 5' 10", as was measured at his Pro Day. (The Patriots website changed his height to 5' 10" during the 2010 preseason). Moreover, even though Edelman is taller than Wes Welker, the similarities in their playing styles led their teammates to dub Edelman "Welker's Mini-Me."
Edelman's father is Jewish, and his mother is not. During an NFL Network interview in December 2013, Edelman stated that he identifies as Jewish and celebrates Hanukkah; he has become "more attuned to the religion and history." He wore an Israeli-American flag pin on his hat during the November 2014 game against the Denver Broncos at Gillette Stadium, and also voiced support for the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, while wearing an Israeli flag hat following the Patriots win against the Green Bay Packers on November 4, 2018. Edelman further displayed support for the victims of the shooting by wearing a pair of customized cleats with the hashtag #strongerthanhate printed of them in a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 16, 2018. Edelman shared a photo of the cleats on Instagram and listed the names of all the victims in the photo's caption.
In July 2016, Edelman was named in a paternity suit filed by Swedish model Ella Rose, whom he had a casual relationship with, naming him the father of her unborn daughter. The news came while he was dating supermodel Adriana Lima. After initially contesting paternity, Edelman eventually acknowledged her daughter who was born on November 30, though he was not named in the birth certificate as he was not present at birth. He posted a photo of himself and his daughter for the first time on Instagram in December 8, 2016, revealing her name, Lily.
In 2016, Edelman became one of three Patriots (along with Malcolm Mitchell and Martellus Bennett) to publish a children's book. Edelman's book, Flying High, is about a squirrel named Jules who learns to overcome his physical limitations through hard work and the assistance of a goat named Tom. A sequel, Flying High 2, loosely based on Edelman's "greatest Super Bowl catch" against the Atlanta Falcons, was released in December 2017.
Edelman also has his own clothing brand, JE11. He has collaborated with Joe's Jeans on a line of shirts and jeans, and with Cutters Sports on a line of football gloves.
Edelman has made a number of cameo appearances on TV, including episodes of the HBO sports dramedy Ballers and the reality competition America's Next Top Model. He has also presented twice, with teammates, at the Grammy Awards: in 2015 with Malcolm Butler and 2019 with Devin McCourty.
Edelman and Danny Amendola were featured in a 30-minute NFL Network special, NFL Going Global: Edelman & Amendola, chronicling their promotional trip to Mexico City ahead of the Patriots' 2017 game there.
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