clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Week 10 Patriots vs Giants: Tom Coughlin Wishes Julian Edelman was a Giant

New, comments

The Patriots wide receiver has developed into one of the biggest threats in the league and he'll be facing one of the only franchises that thought he was worth looking into.

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian hasn't always been a hot ticket item. In fact, Edelman had to go through consecutive offseasons in 2013 and 2014 where most teams in the NFL didn't even think he was worth the visit.

Prior to the 2014 season, when Edelman solidified his place as a bona fide #1 receiver, he only drew interest from three teams other than New England: the Ravens, the 49ers, and the Browns.

Baltimore decided to sign veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr. instead of Edelman. The Browns wanted to sign Andrew Hawkins instead of Edelman. Edelman signed with the Patriots the day after visiting the 49ers, but he must have questioned his role in an offense with Anquan Boldin, Michael Crabtree, and Vernon Davis, and compared his future with Colin Kaepernick versus Tom Brady.

Edelman could have been insulted by the Patriots after playing the 2013 season on a one-year deal, where it was evident the team wanted Danny Amendola to be the offensive replacement for the departed Wes Welker.

Instead, Edelman didn't really have much of a choice. Only one other team showed interest in the wide receiver during the 2013 offseason: the New York Giants.

"I was very, very impressed with the young man," Giants head coach Tom Coughlin said, reminiscing about Edelman's visit. "He was very serious, I kind of like those kind of guys. He was serious, he was serious about his business and the game of football and what he was looking for.

"I certainly regret the fact that he's not in this uniform but that's the way it goes."

Edelman was nothing more than an injury-prone punt returner during the 2013 offseason, having finished the prior season on the injured reserve with a foot injury and missing time with a hand injury, as well as a concussion. He was Welker's back-up and nothing more.

"I think you project how hard he played," Coughlin said about trying to see where Edelman would fit in an offense. "The contributions that he made not only as a receiver but in the special teams area and many different categories on special teams. You always appreciated the toughness that he brings to the game."

The 2013 Giants were led by receiver Victor Cruz, in his healthy prime, Hakeem Nicks, when he was still a viable starter, and had 2nd year player Rueben Randle, who was a second round pick. There wasn't really space for an unproven Edelman in the offense, especially with developing players already in house.

Since the start of the 2013 season, Edelman ranks 3rd in the league in receptions, behind the Steelers Antonio Brown and the Broncos Demaryius Thomas. Edelman's 73.6 yards per game ranks 16th out of receivers and tight ends over that time frame (tight end Rob Gronkowski ranks 10th with 80.3 yards per game).

With Victor Cruz unavailable with injuries, and with Edelman flourishing, the Giants have to wish they could re-do their decisions from 2013. The Patriots have to be happy that Edelman has developed into one of the biggest threats in the league.