Julian Edelman heartbroken and ‘not even thinking about [free agency] right now’
|01.19.14 at 7:49 pm ET|
DENVER — Julian Edelman got dressed slowly in front of his locker before slowly turning around to face the media.
After Sunday’s 26-16 season-ending loss to the Broncos in the AFC championship here at Sports Authority Field, the receiver fought back tears when trying to put into words the sudden stop to their Super Bowl dreams.
“I’m very proud to be a part of this team,” Edelman said. “We fought through a lot of adversity. There’s a lot of ups and downs and it’s just very unfortunate that it had to end this way. It’s not the way we wanted to [end the season].”
As he has all season, Edelman led the Patriots with 10 catches on 15 targets and 89 yards (all team highs) while hauling in Tom Brady‘s only touchdown pass of the postseason.
He led a receiving corps that fought through the inconsistencies that come with new players (Danny Amendola) and rookies (Aaron Dobson, Kenbrell Thompkins and Josh Boyce).
Even Austin Collie provided production Sunday, catching four passes on six targets. But, Brady couldn’t make it work Sunday.
“It was a pretty special group,” Edelman said. “Everyone fight to the very end, and it just didn’t go our way. They flat out beat us today”
Now comes the big decision for Edelman and the Patriots. Has Edelman done enough to early a big free agency payday? He will be one of four significant unrestricted free agents on the roster. Will the Patriots franchise him?
“I’m not even thinking about that right now,” Edelman said of his future. “I’m thinking about the fellas in this locker room, the coaches, all the hard work we put in and this season. I’ll think about [free agency] later.”