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What if re-signing Julian Edelman is the wrong move?

Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

Julian Edelman stepped up and had a terrific season for the New England Patriots, but is re-signing him really the correct move to make? Just think about this for a moment: 2013 was the first injury-free year for Edelman.

He has battled through injuries each of the past five seasons. His most significant one came in 2012, when he broke his right foot and had to have surgery. He became a free agent and couldn't even buy a visit with a team until the Giants brought him in last April.

Of course, New England eventually re-signed him to an incentives-based contract, but it says a lot that it took about a month for a team to even dial his phone.

In addition to the broken foot, Edelman has suffered two concussions in his career, which can't be overlooked for a guy that takes a pounding every single time he catches a pass or returns a punt. He has had injuries to his thigh, back, ankle, forearm, and hand since his career began back in 2009.

Maybe...just maybe, 2013 was a fluke. Edelman has been extremely productive when healthy, but has he done it consistently enough to warrant a longterm contract?

Ah, I don't think so. If he's really going to get $5 or $6 million per year, then he's just not worth it. Slot receivers are a valuable position in the Patriots' offense, and Tom Brady has great chemistry with Edelman, but he hasn't proven himself for an extended period of time to earn that kind of money.

He's a fan favorite, so not many people want to think about that, but it's something worth considering. After all, the only slot receiver really worth that kind of money is Victor Cruz, because of his dynamic ability to stretch the field. Edelman just can't do that.

Not to mention this recent narrative that the Patriots should dump Danny Amendola because he's "unproven" and "injury prone." Huh? Amendola has been in the league for five years and has had only one healthy season -- just like Julian Edelman.

With plenty of other talented wide receivers available in the draft and free agency, the New England Patriots shouldn't feel pressured to overpay for Julian Edelman.

If anything, Julian himself should feel compelled to stay here and take a hometown discount. If he chases the money, there's a good chance he'll join the long list of former Patriots receivers who saw their career production fall off a cliff after leaving. The grass isn't always greener on the other side.