TORONTO — Back in February, Julian Edelman won his third Super Bowl and was named the most valuable player of the game after totalling 10 catches for 141 yards. Another great performance by Edelman in NFL’s biggest game brought up questions among analysts on wether or not the wide receiver is a Hall of Famer. And the answer is no, Edelman should not be inducted to Canton.
In his 10-year career, Edelman has played in 16 regular season games just twice. Besides that, the No. 11 has topped 65 receptions only four times and reached 1,000 yards six times since entering the league. His best season in terms of touchdowns was in 2015, when he scored seven times in nine games played.
To include Edelman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame means to immortalize a player who has 499 catches, 5,390 yards, and 30 TDs in his regular season career so far. In NFL history, only one wide receiver has been inducted to the Hall of Fame with less than 50 receiving touchdowns. That was Tom Fears (Class of 1970), who played for the Los Angeles Rams between 1948-1956 and retired with 38 TDs.
But keep in mind that 38 receiving touchdowns during the 1940s and 1950s were harder than it is in the 2000s. Fears was one of the most dominant receivers of his generation, leading the league in receiving yards once (1950) and being selected to the 1950s All-Decade Team. He, too, had 18 receptions in a single game, a record that stood for 50 years.
On the other hand, Edelman’s playoffs curriculum is indeed impressive. He now has played in four Super Bowls and won three rings. In his first tittle, he scored the go-ahead touchdown versus the Seahawks. Then, made one of the most iconic receptions ever to help the Patriots in a historic comeback against the Falcons. And lately he was named the Super Bowl LIII MVP. Besides that, Edelman is ranked second all time in playoffs receptions and receiving yards.
Edelman’s tittles and postseason success are undisputed, but he has achieved that playing along with arguably NFL’s greatest dynasty. Plus, his regular season standard lacks both consistency and dominance, which doesn’t match with a Hall of Fame resume. He never led the NFL in any receiving category, neither was selected to an All-Pro Team or the Pro Bowl.
A Hall of Famer has to be dominant and with a great impact on the field. Constantly. It’s necessary to somehow have a legacy in the professional football. Edelman doesn’t check any of these boxes.
By Caio Miari