“Does it make sense for the Steelers to kick the tires on Julian Edelman?” is one headline you won’t be reading in the coming months from Behind the Steel Curtain or any other site.
Why? Because Edelman didn’t just have his contract terminated by the Patriots on Monday following a failed physical; he did everyone a favor by quickly announcing his retirement in a video posted to Twitter.
When I say Edelman did everyone a favor by announcing his retirement, I mean Steelers fans and media members. That’s right, Edelman quickly put those folks out of their misery regarding the possibility of Pittsburgh inking the 34-year old to a deal. “But why would anyone have wanted that?” you might be asking. I don’t know, why did anyone think the Steelers were going to bring in Jameis Winston a year ago when Ben Roethlisberger was set to return from a major elbow injury? Yes, Winston would have been an upgrade at the backup quarterback spot, but his mere presence may have given us the return of Passive-Aggressive Ben and his always cryptic media quotes.
Why did anyone ever think the Steelers were going to trade for Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson after he became disgruntled or defensive end J.J. Watt after he became disgruntled and unemployed?
Why was everyone hoping the Steelers would swing a trade for Sam Darnold once it became clear that the Jets were all-in on BYU quarterback Zach Wilson? It would have made sense in a way but not in many other ways—financially, the possible return of I Want To Play Five More Years Ben, etc.
There’s always at least a few cries to bring in one of these dangling-in-the-wind veterans once they’re available, so I figure it would have just been a matter of time before Edelman became the apple of someone’s eye.
It may have been mentioned in the live chat of one or all of Behind the Steel Curtain’s many live podcasts. I’m guessing at least one local radio personality may have said that Edelman would have been just the veteran presence the Steelers’ young receivers needed; he would have shown them all how to win, got them to stop the TikTok nonsense and be professionals.
But none of that is going to happen, thanks to Edelman riding off into the sunset. Sure, we’re having those arguments about whether or not he deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, but I could care less about that. Was Edelman a better receiver than Hines Ward? Probably not. Will Edelman have his likeness immortalized in Canton, Ohio, before or instead of No. 86? I can see that. You might not like to read this, but that Patriots 2001-2018 magic dust will be just as powerful as the Steelers’ 1970s magic dust when it comes to deciding who gets to wear those gold jackets. No, it likely won’t be powerful enough to enshrine 10 Patriots players (the salary cap era will prevent that), but someone like Edelman could certainly benefit—and when he’s still quite young.
There’s also the matter of Edelman possibly pulling a Gronk and coming out of retirement in time to go play with his buddy, Tom Brady, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2021 season.
Again, I don’t really care. The Buccaneers can collect every single Patriots reject and castoff until they’re unofficially referred to as New England Southeast. I realize Edelman might help Tampa Bay win another Super Bowl—as strange and improbable as that seems—but unless it’s against the Steelers, I won’t be annoyed by it.
I would have been annoyed by yet another question about whether or not it was a good idea to sign a veteran player who just recently became available.
It’s the little things that make me happy.