The Patriots are experiencing the most change they've had since Bill Belichick took over.
It doesn't matter if everyone else on the team came back; if Tom Brady's gone, it's a completely different team.
So I've got to ask: Does this new team include Julian Edelman? Or does Bill Belichick find Tattoo expendable without Mr. Roarke?
I brought it up on "Boston Sports Tonight" Wednesday and was not laughed out of the building. Big moment for ol' Dave because that doesn't happen often. Then I threw up a Twitter poll that was pretty split.
The case to be made for keeping and trading him are easy.
The case to keep him: Your receiver group was a mess last season. Are you really going to move the most accomplished guy in the bunch?
The case to trade him: He's turning 34 and entering the last year of his deal. He's also coming off an 1,117-yard season, meaning trade partners should assume he can still play. With receivers getting paid out the wazoo, Edelman would be a good discount option. That could yield the Patriots another draft pick while saving a bit against the cap.
Me? I'd trade him. In fact, I'd trade him to Tampa. Give him back to Tom. You know Edelman would be into it.
The return? Tampa has one third-rounder (No. 76) and two fourths (Nos. 117 and 139). I'd try to get No. 76, but the pair of fourths wouldn't be terrible.
Here's that poll I mentioned:
If you were the Patriots, would you trade Julian Edelman to the Bucs for a third-round pick?— DJ Bean (@DJ_Bean) March 19, 2020
An understandable response it got was "Why would the Bucs do that?" Sure, they've got two very good receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, plus they could sign Antonio Brown.
But what does Tom Brady hate more than almost anything? Unfamiliarity with receivers. Tom the GM was able to get the Patriots to trade a second-round pick for Mohamed Sanu last season, so what's to stop him from telling Jason Licht to get something done for his boy "Jules"?
If I'm the Bucs, I do it. And if I'm Bill Belichick, I do it.