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According to reports by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the New England Patriots and wide receiver Julian Edelman had discussions Thursday about a new contract.
After leading the Patriots in receiving last season, Edelman is set to become a free agent. Thanks to his 105 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns in 2013, he is certainly due for a sizable raise from the $1 million deal (after meeting incentives!) he signed last offseason.
Even though it means nothing, this news lets Patriots fans breathe a little easier after New England neglected to tag either Edelman or top cornerback Aqib Talib. With both untagged and all but guaranteed to hit the free agent market, it’s well within the realm of possibility for Edelman and Talib to depart — essentially losing your top defensive back and best offensive weapon not injured or charged with murder. It’s at least reassuring the Patriots still hold out some hope to bring back Edelman, at least so we don’t have to start talking ourselves into why Bill Belichick should sign Eric Decker.
The Patriots have until March 11 (the beginning of the new league year) to sign Edelman — and Talib, for that matter — before he hits unrestricted free agency, free to sign with any team. March 8 marks the beginning of the legal tampering period for other teams to start courting Tom Brady’s top target.