Julian Edelman enjoyed an extremely successful partnership with Tom Brady, his quarterback during the first 11 years of his career. Edelman, the MVP of Super Bowl LIII, also developed a strong personal relationship with Brady, who signed with the Buccaneers this offseason, ending his 20-year run with the Patriots.
While his time catching passes with Brady in New England is over, Edelman is embracing the opportunity to catch passes from another former league MVP. On Tuesday, Edelman, via social media, officially welcomed former Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to the Patriots, two days after it was reported that New England had come to terms with Newton on a one-year deal.
Brady responded to Edelman, and treated the situation like he was an ex-boyfriend seeing his girl with a new man for the first time.
In Brady's defense, the comment was one of his more clever comebacks, especially given his long relationship with Edelman.
While Edelman is surely looking to mimic the success he had with Brady with his new quarterback, one can assume that Newton is also hoping to find a quick chemistry with Edelman, who caught 100 passes for a career-high 1,117 yards and six touchdowns last season. One thing that should give New England optimism as it relates to the Newton-Edelman partnership is the success Newton had throwing to Steve Smith during the first several seasons of his career. Like Edelman, who checks in at 5-foot-10 and 198 pounds, Smith, who was 5-foot-9 and 195 pounds during his playing career, made up for his lack of size by having impressive quickness as well as his ability to get open. In Newton's rookie season, Smith earned Pro Bowl honors after catching 79 passes for 1,394 yards and seven touchdowns. Smith and Newton would connect 137 times for 1,919 yards during their final two seasons as teammates.
A successful partnership with Newton would also strengthen Edelman's eventual case for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. While Edelman's postseason success has already given him a strong future argument for enshrinement, continued success with another quarterback would further strengthen his Hall of Fame case. While a lot of receivers have had success catching passes from a specific quarterback, what has separated good from great receivers are the ones that continued to have success catching passes from different quarterbacks later in their careers.
Legacy withstanding, Edelman is likely more focused on what he can do to help the Patriots continue their peerless run of success in 2020 despite no longer having Brady under center. The same can be said of Newton, who is undoubtably out to prove that he is still one of the league's top quarterbacks.