According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, he says (via WEEI's Mike Salk) that Patriots free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman could be worth $7mm/year.
Wait. What?! Julian Edelman could fetch $7mm A YEAR?!
Danny Amendola grabbed a 5 year contract for $31mm, or an average of $6.2mm a year.
Victor Cruz signed a 6 year, $45.9mm contract, or roughly $7.65mm a year.
Edelman's supposed to be fall somewhere in between that?
Actually, eh. Sounds about right. If you have a player ranked fifth in the league in targets (including playoffs), maybe he deserves to be paid. If you have a player who ranks first in the league in completion rate (min. 50% of snaps), maybe he deserves to be paid. Who cares that he's "only" 17th in the league in receiving yards.
Edelman moves the chains and gets the job done.
And I haven't mentioned his all-time-great punt returning numbers. But I will now.
Edelman is #1 in yards per punt return since the merger. (minimum 70 returns).
He's a money machine, as long as he's healthy.
So while you might initially scoff at the $7mm price tag, he's probably worth that much to a team. He can shoulder the load. He has the best hands in the league. He's an ace special teamer. I doubt the Patriots will offer him a $7mm/year deal. All we can do is hope that other teams are just as hesitant.
Because if there is a team willing to pay that much for Edelman, there's a chance that he'll be worth every penny.