January 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) against the Denver Broncos in the 2013 AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Rumors: Patriots will need to 'compete' to keep Julian Edelman

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There’s no doubt Julian Edelman has become one of Tom Brady‘s favorite wide receiver.

Somewhat of a security blanket, Brady and the Patriots want Edelman back but according to the Boston Herald, the team is going to have to compete to retain the free agent to be.

Edelman has earned a total of about $3 million in his first five seasons with the Patriots, and he’ll get more than that in his signing bonus. Don’t blame him for being loyal to the money in March, and the Patriots will have to compete to retain him.

While Edleman is a fine wide receiver, it’s hard to imagine any team breaking the bank for him – at least enough where he’d consider leaving New England. Sure, he’ll play the free agent field and force the Patriots to give up more money than they want to, but it’s pretty difficult to picture Edelman leaving the Patriots given their need for him and the fact he has Tom Brady throwing him the ball.

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Tags: Julian Edelman New England Patriots

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