Julian Edelman Says He's Signing with Tom Brady, Buccaneers as April Fools' Joke

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVApril 1, 2022

FOXBOROUGH, MA - OCTOBER 25: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots prior to the start of the game against the San Francisco 49ers at Gillette Stadium on October 25, 2020 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

In an April Fools' Day joke, wide receiver Julian Edelman announced he was signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday.

Julian Edelman @Edelman11

Onto the next chapter. 🏴‍☠️ <a href="https://t.co/EmVR17tv6w">pic.twitter.com/EmVR17tv6w</a>

Edelman spent his entire 12-year NFL career playing alongside current Bucs quarterback Tom Brady as members of the New England Patriots prior to his retirement last year.

Brady and Edelman started to lay the bait for the joke last month when the Hall of Fame quarterback posted a video working out with the Super Bowl LIII MVP.

Julian Edelman @Edelman11

How’s the knee look? 👀 <a href="https://t.co/LYJ3YAp5Sd">https://t.co/LYJ3YAp5Sd</a>

NESN's Zack Cox pointed out the footage for that video was actually filmed in July and wasn't from a recent throwing session between the longtime teammates.

While Edelman was one of Brady's favorite targets from his two-decade tenure in New England, the Bucs are already overflowing with pass-catching depth.

The quarterback is set to have Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage, Breshad Perriman, Tyler Johnson, Scotty Miller and Cameron Brate at his disposal in 2022. Rob Gronkowski, another former Pats star, could eventually re-sign as well.

So there wouldn't be much playing time available for Edelman, even if he was actually looking toward a potential NFL return with Tampa.

In October, the 35-year-old Kent State product said on the Call Him Papi podcast (via Matt Hladik of The Spun) he could still "could go out and catch 45, 50 balls" per season, but he respected the NFL too much to keep playing at below his typical standard.

"I'm cool. I'm not trying to hang on. I don't need the money," Edelman said. "I don't want to look like one of those old guys out there, which I started looking like that last year, because my body was breaking down. I have too much respect for the sport as an art."

So, while he might have tricked some people with Friday's joke, don't expect him back on the gridiron this fall.