Tom Brady: Julian Edelman 'Scared' to Tell Bill Belichick He Wanted to Join Bucs

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman, left, speaks to quarterback Tom Brady as the team warms up before an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady joked former New England Patriots teammate Julian Edelman retired because he was "too scared" to tell Pats head coach Bill Belichick he wanted to join the Bucs. 

Brady discussed the wide receiver's recent retirement during an appearance Thursday on the NFL's Draft-A-Thon live stream:

Dov Kleiman @NFL_DovKleiman

From the NFL Draft-A-Thon 2021: @TomBrady: "We know Julian didn't retire. He's just too scared to tell Bill he wants to come to Tampa. I've been there." 🤣🤣 https://t.co/sIXUBxcFLj

Edelman sidestepped a question from comedian Kevin Hart about whether he was planning an eventual NFL comeback, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

"It's always great to have someone in shorter than you," Edelman said of Hart.

The 34-year-old three-time Super Bowl champion announced his retirement April 12, saying it was the "right decision for me and my family":

Julian Edelman @Edelman11

Foxboro Forever https://t.co/x3SDDPJoTX

While it seemed like a genuine statement about the intention to hang up his cleats for good, it's hard not to think about Rob Gronkowski. The star tight end retired as a member of the Patriots in March 2019 only to resurface and work out a trade to the Buccaneers last April.

Gronkowski went on to play a major role in the Bucs' Super Bowl triumph over the Kansas City Chiefs in February, catching two touchdowns to help Brady secure his seventh championship.

Tampa Bay is already overloaded with pass-catching weapons for 2021—Gronkowski, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Scotty Miller, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate—so there isn't an immediate need or fit for Edelman heading into next season.

Godwin, Brown, Gronkowski and Howard are all potential free agents next season, however, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see Edelman return from a Gronk-style one-year hiatus to join the Bucs in 2022.