Julian Edelman is regarded as one of the greatest wide receivers in New England Patriots history. Edelman was truly electric on the field, lighting it up with incredible plays that helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls and earned him a Super Bowl MVP title at Super Bowl LIII.
Edelman is one of the best to play the game, but he wasn’t exactly a star right out of the gate. Edelman spent most of his first four seasons riding the bench with little play time during the early days of his career but that all changed in 2013 when a series of unfortunate events for Edelman’s teammates ended up giving Edelman the break he needed.
In fact, there is a good possibility that Edelman never would have become the star wide receiver he became had it not been for the arrest of his former teammate Aaron Hernandez.
In a recent episode of Edelman’s Games with Names podcast, Edelman revealed that had his former teammate Aaron Hernandez not been arrested he may never have had the opportunity to become the star wide receiver he became for the Patriots.
“We don’t get me,” Edelman told guest Bert Kreischer, adding that the arrest was “a terrible situation for all parties” but wasn’t ashamed to admit that he ”did do well off it.”
As Edelman explained, Hernandez’s arrest was the start of a series of events that eventually led to him getting the chance to step up into a key role on the Patriots’ offense even if the team didn’t want to hand over the keys to the inexperienced receiver.
“That year, Hernandez gets arrested, Gronk breaks his back, they sign Amendola he got hurt and I was there. I didn’t have much stats or anything and they didn’t want to give me the keys or anything but they had no choice and then I took it and ran.”
Of course, it’s impossible to know what could have happened had the 2013 season not been plagued with so many unexpected obstacles for the Patriots. However, it’s honestly wild to think that Edelman might have never gotten the chance to become a starter on the team had the Patriots not had to look deeper in their depth chart and call up the young wide receiver.