Julian Edelman is nearing the end of his contract with the team he has had the brunt of his success with. After turning 31 years old, the end of his NFL career is in sight. It's not coming yet, though. According to a reporter with the NFL Network, the wide receiver may in fact be nearing an extension with the New England Patriots. Details of the potential contract haven't been revealed yet, but fans of the team will surely be excited when they are.

Edelman contract extension

Prior to the news, it seemed as if Edelman would enter the 2017 season as a forthcoming unrestricted free agent.

The Patriots are an organization that is historically unafraid to let their top players walk when they become too expensive to retain, or when the team believes they are over the hill. The wide receiver would certainly be at risk of fitting one, if not both categories by the end of the season. The rare move for the team could prove to be a prudent one, though.

Later in the day, it became official, courtesy of ESPN's Adam Schefter. The details aren't available yet, but the deal is for multiple years. The Patriots will be keeping around a receiver who just had a career year, catching 98 passes for 1,106 yards, three touchdowns, and a memorable grab in the Super Bowl victory to boot.

Edelman will likely see his role diminish this season anyways, assuming a healthy Rob Gronkowski and a prominent role for new receiver Brandin Cooks. It'll be smoother to earn his money that way.

Patriots keep winning offseason

Retaining Edelman for the future just continues a remarkable offseason for the Super Bowl champions.

Normally, teams struggle to hold on to their best pieces or improve after a championship, as the value of individual players increases exponentially from a Super Bowl title. The Patriots are having the opposite problem - every player seems interested in joining the team in some capacity.

In addition to keeping Edelman around, they also traded for Cooks from the New Orleans Saints (without trading away cornerback Malcolm Butler in the process).

They also poached two key players from a divisional opponent, the Buffalo Bills: cornerback Stephon Gilmore and running back Mike Gillislee. The Patriots also managed to retain almost the entire core of a team that led them to Super Bowl glory last season - there can be little doubt that they are headed down a similar road towards contention again this year.