After the failed negotiations between the New England Patriots and Julian Edelman, the 100-plus catch receiver could be looking for a new home.
Edelman has spent the past four seasons with the Patriots, mostly serving as a role player. Coming into games as a sub-player and on special teams, the former college quarterback had a breakout year in 2013. Edelman recorded career highs in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns last season, to fill in the void left by Wes Welker. The 2009 seventh round draft pick is one of few available free agents that had a 1,000 yard season last year, making him a highly sought after player this offseason. His ability to play multiple positions, including receiver, quarterback, running back, punt/kick returner, and on defense as the nickel back, would allow him to be a valuable asset for the Green and White.
Edelman is considered to be a slot receiver, but standing at 5'11", he has a large frame to be in the slot. Since the Jets already have Jeremy Kerley to play the role of the slot receiver, Edelman can be used as the No.2 receiver. He has enough speed to get separation from defenders and he has consistent hands. While he was with the Patriots, Edelman displayed his ability to make the quick cuts in and out of his short routes, which fit perfectly in the Jets West Coast System under Marty Mornhinweg. He also is versatile, having been used in the Wildcat and as a punt returner in New England. Having played quarterback in college, Edelman can throw the ball, which can be a weapon in the Jets' arsenal for trick plays and fake punts. Edelman's arrival in New York can instantly improve the special teams, as well as posing a threat to defensive coordinators for trick plays and in the Wildcat. Edelman is also very reliable on third down, as he has a knack for keep the drive alive.
Edelman excels at reading coverages and sitting in the holes of the zone. This allows him to get open often and make the reception to keep the rhythm of the offense going. For a team that struggled with offensive rhythm last year, a player like Edelman will help keep the offense on the field. He can also provide much needed special teams help, by bringing in his 12 yards per return average from last year to New York. Since the Jets are a run-first team, and the passing attack was ranked among the worst in the league, the numbers that Edelman had in 2013 most likely will not reappear in 2014. However, his value in other positions will prove for a good complement to Mornhinweg's West Coast offense.
Having had his first 100-catch and 1,000 yard season, Edelman believes that he should get paid like an elite receiver. However, Edelman has only had one good year since coming into the league in 2009, and does not deserve to be paid like a top-ranked receiver. If the former Kent State Golden Flash product lowers his asking price, the Jets would not go wrong in signing the consistent receiver. Edelman's reliable hands and his versatility set him apart from most free agents, and this can be a valuable asset to the New York Jets. The former Patriot would make a perfect fit into the offense of Gang Green and inking Edelman would be a good move for the New York Jets.