Patriots

Those Julian Edelman trade rumors? Here's why the Patriots won't do it

Those Julian Edelman trade rumors? Here's why the Patriots won't do it

From somewhere in the primordial ooze of this pandemic quarantine, a rumor has emerged. 

And we must take the figurative shovel to this wriggling little organism before it has a chance to grow. 

The rumor? The Patriots may trade wide receiver Julian Edelman.

The response I got from a league source when I asked about said rumor? “Not a chance in hell.”

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

The little thing grew legs on Wednesday when Ringer founder Bill Simmons joined Colin Cowherd on FOX Sports Radio and mentioned the possibility of Edelman going to the Detroit Lions. 

In response to Simmons mentioning that Edelman-to-Detroit was something he was hearing, Cowherd said, “It’s talked about.”

As Thursday began, the chatter became a little more insistent. It reached the dreaded “it’s out there” level of possibility. 

Now, I will allow that there is some cap relief in the offing if the Patriots were to move Edelman, who currently has a $9.3M cap hit for this season. Our most trusted source for Patriots cap info for the past 20 years is Miguel Benzan of Boston Sports Journal. This is how Miguel sums up the cap implications of trading Edelman. 

There are some other numbers out there that say Edelman’s hit would be $8.3M if he were dealt. That doesn’t take into account the $3.3M in salary that would travel with Edelman and be saved by the Patriots. You also have to project whether or not Edelman achieves a workout bonus and some other bookkeeping to get the real number. 

I glaze over with the cap stuff. But the long and short of it is the team will save north of $4M in cap space if they trade Edelman before June 1. 

But trading away a going-on-34-year-old is not going to yield much in return.

Listen and subscribe to Tom E. Curran's Patriots Talk Podcast:

Edelman had a 100-catch, 1,117 yard season despite being injured and the focal point of every defensive game plan in 2019. But how good will he be in 2021, 2022 or 2023? That’s what teams consider before parting with draft picks. How many years of service can they get from the guy they are getting for a third-rounder?

So moving a tone-setting, chain-moving security blanket in exchange for a fourth-rounder in order to save $4M on the cap? When guard Joe Thuney is sitting there on the franchise tag, waiting to be renegotiated with a possible cap savings of $10M? 

Where would the Patriots offense have been in 2019 without Edelman? Where would it have been in 2000 or 2001 without Troy Brown? Screwed. 

Unless the Patriots want to raise the white flag on 2020 in early April, dealing Edelman makes no sense. 

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

WATCH: Cam Newton, N'Keal Harry meet for first workout as Patriots teammates

Cam Newton is wasting no time getting to know his New England Patriots wide receivers.

The new Patriots quarterback, who officially signed a one-contract with the team Wednesday, linked up with wideout Mohamed Sanu last week for a few throwing sessions in Los Angeles.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

This Wednesday, it was N'Keal Harry's turn to catch passes from Newton, according to Boston.com, which obtained video of the duo's L.A. workout from EBA Sports.

The video shows Newton meeting Harry for the first time as a member of the Patriots before throwing the second-year receiver a handful of passes.

Newton and Harry worked out together for about two hours and were later joined by Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., per Boston.com.

Next Pats Podcast: How can Pats maximize Harry's talent? | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Harry has been working hard this offseason to improve his game after a disappointing rookie campaign. The Patriots' 2019 first-round pick appeared in just seven games last season due to a nagging ankle injury, catching 12 passes on 24 targets for 105 yards and two touchdowns.

It's encouraging to see the 22-year-old on the practice field with Newton, who's aiming to bounce back from his own foot injury that limited him to two games in 2019.

Newton will have to beat out second-year QB Jarrett Stidham for the starting job, and it appears he's eager to get started while developing chemistry with his new pass-catchers.

Deion Branch 'excited' to see what Patriots offense looks like with Cam Newton

Deion Branch 'excited' to see what Patriots offense looks like with Cam Newton

The New England Patriots offense could look very different during the 2020 NFL season, and not just because Tom Brady is no longer the team's starting quarterback.

Not only will the Patriots enter a season with a new starting QB for the first time since 2001, the actual scheme and identity of the offense might take on a totally new form. The reason for that is the arrival of veteran quarterback Cam Newton, who the Patriots recently signed to a one-year contract reportedly worth up to $7.5 million.

Download the MyTeams app for the latest Patriots news and analysis

Newton is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks the league has ever seen. His passing ability is impressive, no doubt, but he really puts pressure on opposing defenses with his legs. The 31-year-old veteran has ran for 500-plus yards in six of his nine pro seasons, and his 58 career rushing touchdowns are the most by a quarterback since he entered the league in 2011.

Former Patriots wide receiver and Super Bowl XXXIX MVP Deion Branch is pretty excited about the Newton addition for New England, and he can't wait to see how the coaching staff, including offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, devises a game plan to maximize Newton's unique skill set.

“I expect big things,” Branch said in a recent interview on CBS Sports Radio's "The Zach Gelb Show". “I’m just excited to see what Josh McDaniels can come up with, with this type of athlete. He’s had, with Tom, the greatest quarterback to ever play the game. That’s the easy part. But the Patriots have never had a dual-threat quarterback such as Cam Newton at the helm. So I'm excited to see -- Josh is a brilliant offensive coordinator. This is going to be exciting to see what these guys can create, and what they can come up with. If they can make this work — just to see what it looks like. I'm excited for him. I know Cam is excited for another opportunity."

Next Pats Podcast: How can Pats maximize Harry's skills? | Listen & subscribe | Watch on YouTube

McDaniels has done a tremendous job in New England. The Patriots' ability to change their identity and offensive gameplan based on the upcoming week's opponent is quite impressive. They've been able to win games in a lot of different ways, whether that means throwing the ball 40 times or bullying defenses with a power running game.

Newton brings a skill set we've rarely seen in the Patriots offense. His ability to throw the ball with success and also take off into the open field like a running back gives McDaniels a ton of different plays and packages to run that the team hasn't used much in recent years.

It remains to be seen if Newton will be able to bounce back from last season's injury woes and rediscover the form that made him a top 15 QB on a consistent basis, but watching him in the Patriots offense will certainly be among the most compelling storylines of the 2020 season.