Patriots head coach Bill Belichick spoke with the media during Tuesday’s practice to give his thoughts on the extension in true Belichick fashion.
“Obviously anytime you sign a contract, it’s an agreement between two parties, so it got done,” Belichick said. “We’re glad it’s done or we wouldn’t have done it. Hopefully he’s glad it’s done or he wouldn’t have done it.”
The coach spoke at greater length about the growth he’s seen from Edelman over the course of the receiver’s time with the Patriots and in the NFL.
“Julian’s improved and done a lot of things that he never did in college, so that was not maybe something that he would have projected or anticipated,” Belichick said. “But at the same time, he had enough qualities that we drafted him, and he showed that even as a rookie, I think, in terms of his production. Not taking anything away from Julian, but I would have been a lot more surprised at Steve Neal’s career than Edelman’s, let’s put it that way.”
“Julian’s a tough player,” Belichick added. “He competes well.”
Belichick mentions former Patriots RG Steve Neal, a former college wrestler who developed into one of the best right guards of the 2000s, as a greater surprise than Edelman’s development from a college quarterback to one of the best receivers in the league. Edelman has been the team’s top receiver for the past four seasons and will likely transition into a #1b role with the addition of WR Brandin Cooks to the roster.
Both Edelman and the Patriots agreed that the former Kent State quarterback can be a big part of the team’s plans for the next three seasons. That’s the only reason why both sides would accept the deal.