As the NFL regular season winds down, many playoff contenders are looking for opportunities to upgrade their rosters ahead of the postseason. In some cases, that apparently includes calling recently retired players to see if they would be willing to return for the stretch run.
Former Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, who retired before the 2021 season, revealed he has received three such calls from teams asking whether he would play again.
“There’s been some calls, and I’ve turned them down,” he said, via NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry.
Although Edelman seems happy in retirement, he did admit there is one scenario under which he would agree to return to the league for a playoff push.
“The situation would have to be in New England with a New England team that’s a contender,” Edelman said.
While the Patriots are currently in the playoff picture, they are clinging to the No. 7 seed in the AFC and could easily fall out with a loss to the Raiders on Sunday. At 7-6, the Patriots are probably not what Edelman has in mind when he describes “a contender.”
As for which three teams did call him, one possibility is a struggling Buccaneers team quarterbacked by Edelman’s close friend, Tom Brady. However, unlike his former teammate Danny Amendola, Edelman seems fine staying retired instead of playing with Brady again.
In September, Edelman said he might consider a comeback if a team making a playoff push made a call.
“But if there’s a team vying for a playoff run, guy goes down. Could I get ready? I probably could,” he said at the time. “You can never say never.”
A few months later, it appears as if Edelman is satisfied in retirement.