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Ex-Patriot Julian Edelman stirring up comeback rumors: ‘We’re staying in shape, but you never know’

Related: One hell of a story: The 11 moments that defined Julian Edelman’s career

NFL: New Orleans Saints at New England Patriots David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Rumors about a potential comeback have followed Julian Edelman ever since he announced his retirement from the NFL last offseason. Could a return really be on the horizon, though?

Well, the 36-year-old did not categorically rule anything out. Appearing at the Sunset Sports Media Festival in Zadar, Croatia, Edelman was asked about possibly coming back as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — thus joining long-time quarterback Tom Brady.

“I don’t know, we’ll see,” he said (via the New York Post). “That’s called a little teaser. We’ll see. We’re staying in shape, but you never know.”

Edelman has been linked to the Brady-led Buccaneers before, but so far has shot down any recruitment efforts or rumors related to that particular team. The New England Patriots, on the other hand, appear to be a more realistic landing spot.

“I’d probably go back to the Patriots,” Edelman said. “I love the Patriots. Foxboro Forever.”

Edelman originally joined the Patriots as the 232nd selection of the 2009 draft after having played quarterback at Kent State. New England, however, had a different role in mind and turned him into a wide receiver and kick returner. The move paid off big time.

While he played a comparatively specialized role during his first four seasons with the club, and made his biggest impact in the kicking game, he developed into Tom Brady’s go-to pass catcher in 2013. Over the seasons that followed he played a pivotal role in helping the organization win three Super Bowls — including Super Bowl 53 that saw him take home MVP honors — while appearing in a combined 156 games.

Along the way, Edelman was voted to the Patriots’ Team of the 2010s and became the franchise’s playoff receiving leader.