New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman has been one of the NFL’s premiere pass catchers over the past four seasons, but it’s hard to say he’s seen in that light.
Hall of Fame cornerback and NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders echoes the notion, suggesting that Edelman doesn’t get his due because he’s white. After Edelman played an integral role in the Pats AFC Championship win over the Pittsburgh Steelers, with eight receptions for 118 yards and a score, Sanders used the term “reverse racism” to describe Edelman’s lack of acclaim.
“I’m going the say this, you can run with it, they can say what they want — it’s like reverse racism,” Sanders said on the NFL Network Sunday. “…Julian Edelman, just because he is a caucasian receiver, they don’t give him the credit that he deserves. He deserves so much more. This kid can flat out play. [There] hasn’t been an answer for him over the last several years…he can get deep, he works between the numbers, works outside the numbers, he can throw the football, he can can run the football — he does it all, man.”
This season, Edelman snagged 98 passes for 1,106 yards . Over the past four, which includes a career year in 2013 where he had 110 receptions for 1,106 yards, Edelman’s posted 356 catches for 3,826 yards and 20 touchdowns. But this postseason has been been his time to shine. He’s gone over 100 yards receiving in both of New England’s playoff games, totaling 16 catches for 255 yards and one touchdown.
And his relatively inexpensive asking price could speak to why head coach Bill Belichick has kept him around so long. He made $2.5 million this season and is slated to make $3 million in 2017.