Julian Edelman announced his resignation on Monday, announcing his retirement after an 11-year NFL career, all spent with the Patriots.
Edelman’s final stat line: 620 receptions for 6,866 receiving yards (11 receiving yards) and 36 receiving touchdowns; 58 carries for 413 yards (7.1 yards per carry); 177 punts for 1,986 yards and four touchdowns. His yardage is ranked 156th in NFL history and his receiving touchdowns are tied for 261st.
Zero Pro Bowl selections. Three Super Bowl rings. A Super Bowl MVP. And a member of the 2010 Patriots All-Decade team.
Now for the debate that follows: are those numbers good enough to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (to which Edelman will not be eligible until 2026)? The pure numbers say no, but that didn’t stop Twitter users trending “HOFer” and “Edelman” on Monday night as they discussed Edelman’s Hall of Fame credentials.
Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyer in May 2019 makes a convincing argument that Edelman’s Hall of Fame affair is not that straightforward. What works in Edelman’s favor is the fact that only Jerry Rice ranks ahead of Edelman in playoff receptions (151 to 118 of Edelman) and receiving yards (2,245 to 1,442 of Edelman). He was also one of Tom Brady’s favorite targets – himself a Hall of Famer in the first round – as the two won three Super Bowls together.
But Edelman has only led the Patriots three times in receiving yards and has never racked more than 1,117 yards in a season (in 2019, his last healthy season). He’s had three 1,000-yard receiving seasons and has never scored more than seven receiving touchdowns per year. People were also quick to point out that her stats were pale compared to other non-Hall of Fame members with significantly better stats, including Hines Ward, who in 2021 failed to make it to Guangzhou for the fifth year in a row.
Regardless of whether Edelman enters the Hall of Fame or not, the fact that his candidacy is so hotly debated – not even 24 hours before announcing his retirement – is a testament to his impact on the game.
Edelman is, to me, a Hall of Famer.
His impact in the playoffs was undeniable, and he spent 11 years essentially being Brady’s wide receiver.
– Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 12, 2021
All these bozos explaining what a non HoFer Edelman does is prove to the world that Tom Brady won 3 Super Bowls, 2 Super Bowl MVPs and was a 5x Pro Bowler with this man as the top receiver.
– KP (@KapeTalk) April 12, 2021
Patriot fans try to sell Edelman as HOFer. In an era with far fewer throws, Washington’s Gary Clark-699 catches 10,856 yards and 65 TDs, plus two Super Bowl titles. (And Torry enters). With all due respect, Edelman is no HOFer. Pats HOF yes, Canton? No. https://t.co/WbdeZ3qW4K
– Randy Karraker (@RandyKarraker) April 12, 2021
Here’s why I hate immediate discussions on HOF: Edelman should be celebrated after an incredible 12-year career that the overwhelming majority of athletes would trade. He’s not a HOFer, and I don’t like to have to say what it isn’t on a day when we should be celebrating what it is.
– Jonathan Jones (@ jjones9) April 12, 2021
Torry Holt and Reggie Wayne are not in the Hall of Fame. Stop with any Julian Edelman in Canton talking until they are.
– Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) April 12, 2021
So this question is going to sound fallacious, but I promise it isn’t (bc I don’t know if I would vote for either of the guys) – if you’re in favor of Eli Manning getting into the HOF, shouldn’t you be for Julian Edelman in?
To me, their cases are essentially Lynn Swann’s business.
– Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) April 12, 2021
For all my colleagues: Don’t ask me if Julien Edelman is Hall Of Famer when I work Wednesday. Ask me if it’s a great story, he was able to capture some great moments of the playoffs, damn it even if he had a great career. However, don’t start the HOF conversation. Let me say nice things.
– Ryan Clark (@ Realrclark25) April 12, 2021
The WR backlog that you would have to wipe out before Edelman even enters a HoF postcode is insane.
– Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) April 12, 2021
It is far more important to discuss / learn why Edelman got everything out of his talents and career than to wonder if he is worthy of HOF. Much more. If you care about that sort of thing.
– Louis Riddick (@LRiddickESPN) April 13, 2021
Julian Edelman’s post-season stats:
19 games, 118 catches, 1,422 yards, 7 touchdowns.
Won three Super Bowls and won a Super Bowl MVP.
I don’t have a firm position on the Edelman HOF debate. I see both sides, but I don’t think the postseason contributions are weighed enough.
– Doug Kyed (@DougKyed) April 12, 2021
Eli Manning and Julian Edelman have similar HOF CVs: they are not worthy of HOF.
– André Weingarten (@Swami_EA) April 12, 2021
How long will the Edelman HoF conference last? The answer is no. I didn’t think it would be a debate.
And of course, that doesn’t diminish his career in any way.
– Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) April 12, 2021
Jordy Nelson> Julian Edelman
Nor do the HOF. Let’s not be silly today.
– Scott Kacsmar (@ScottKacsmar) April 12, 2021
Julian Edelman should be a hall of famer just so we can see if he can convince the guy doing the HOF bust to include his abs in the sculpture
– PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) April 12, 2021
Some people think Edelman is HOF.
Here’s the problem that HOF doesn’t even put legitimate WR into HOF.
Take the example of Torry Holt.
Holt has had 8 consecutive seasons better than any of Edelman’s best seasons. 6k more yards, 300 more catches and 38 more touchdowns with a ring. Not in https://t.co/vkK9RMNmPQ
– Robert Littal BSO (@BSO) April 12, 2021