During a recent interview session, New England Patriots special teamer Matthew Slater had this to say about longtime wide receiver Julian Edelman:
"All the things you hope to have in a guy that represents your franchise, he embodies."
That sure sounds like a guy who'd be named a team captain, right? Yet Edelman isn't among the eight players who will captain the 2020 Patriots, a list that includes new quarterback Cam Newton along with David Andrews, James White, Matthew Slater, Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, Lawrence Guy and Ja'Whaun Bentley.
Edelman was asked Friday on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" if he was bothered at all by not being a captain.
"I think leadership and all that stuff is conveyed in a whole bunch of ways,” Edelman responded, via WEEI.com. “The guys that are captains are captains for a reason. Those guys are unbelievable men. ... There's a lot of extra meetings for those captains.
"I focus a lot on what I have to do and what I have to do to prepare myself and help my teammates. I'm just ready for the season.”
Edelman is New England's second-longest-tenured player (behind Slater) following Tom Brady's offseason departure, and some thought the 34-year-old might be named captain for the first time in his career this year to help fill Brady's leadership void.
If Edelman is upset at getting passed over, though, he's not letting on. The lack of a captain title also doesn't preclude the veteran wideout from being a leader in the locker room, and he'll still likely be a prominent voice as New England moves into the post-Brady era.