Julian Edelman still loves Tom Brady, even if free agency has broken up one of the NFL’s most famous bromances.
But Edelman said Monday he has no choice but to keep going even if Brady is no longer his New England Patriots teammate — and it’s not as if there aren’t intriguing options for a new football beau.
“Obviously, we played a lot of football together, and I love him to death,” Edelman said, via ESPN.com, “but the train keeps moving, as it will when I’m not playing here.”
It’s the first time Edelman has spoken to the media since Brady left New England and signed a two-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Edelman added: “Obviously, it was a little different scenario, but you [have] got to move on and understand it’s the business. You have to worry about the people we have here, and try to prepare ourselves the best we can.”
Brady’s possible replacement is part of that business. Cam Newton signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, and he and Edelman have been seen chatting on social media with one another. They even got together in Los Angeles in July to get some throwing in.
Tom Brady, left is gone, and Patriots receiver Julian Edelman, right, isn’t letting his love for his ex-QB get in the way of the 2020 season. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Getty Images)
MoreEdelman’s first impressions of Newton
“When you first meet him, just his stature. He’s large — put together well,” Edelman said. “He has a great energy about himself. I was really impressed with his work ethic and mindset.”
While still the odds-on favorite to win the starting QB job, Newton will have to fend off Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer, both of whom have worked in the Patriots’ offensive structure before.
So how does Edelman handicap the race?
“You have Hoyer, who has played here. He’s been in the system,” Edelman said. “You have Stidham, who has a year under his belt.
“And you have Cam; this guy is a heck of a football player. This isn’t his first year playing football. This guy is a former MVP who has played in a lot of big games.”
Still, it’s a tricky year to be breaking in Brady’s replacement, what with every challenge the COVID-19 pandemic presents in this unique offseason.
Perhaps if there’s a team equipped to handle such an unsettling time, it’s the meticulous Patriots and their typically well-prepared staff.
“I have a lot of faith in our coaching staff, along with some of the veteran players, to go out and do our best to try to prepare everyone the best we can,” Edelman said. “That’s what this season is going to be about — about addressing and overcoming certain situations everyone is having to deal with.
“We have a long road ahead of us, but if we just keep on bringing our hard hat and lunch pail to work, and coming in with a purpose, that’s usually when good things happen.”
And who knows? In time, maybe Edelman and Newton will create their own football love affair.
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