This is a tough one for the Patriots. Edelman had no market last offseason and came back to the team for short money ($765,000). He’s 27. He’s never made heavy money. This is his one legitimate shot to help solidify his financial future. The dynamic in New England is this: the Patriots are already spending $5M a year on a slot/inside receiver named Danny Amendola.
Based on 2013, Edelman is more valuable than Amendola not just as a target for Tom Brady but as a punt returner. Given the cap hit the Pats would take, Amendola’s not going anywhere. The Patriots could ask him to take a haircut, though. Or they could figure that Edelman and Amendola are just different enough so as not to be redundant employees.
So then what’s the asking price for Edelman’s camp – he’s represented by the same folks who represent Brady, Don Yee and Steve Dubin. The market for inside/slot receivers is far different from wide receivers as Wes Welker learned. Edelman has to go to the open market hoping to make $5M a year, same as Amendola. Imagine if the Broncos don’t pick up the option on Wes Welker for 2014 and the $8M cap hit that accompanies it and make a run at Edelman? Then Welker could return to the Patriots. Theoretically. Stranger things have happened.