The New England Patriots are the defending Super Bowl champions but they are doing everything they can to improve the team for quarterback Tom Brady to try to lead them to yet another big championship season. New England has loaded up with quality wide receivers and just reached a new deal with Julian Edelman, their leading receiver in three of the past four seasons.

Julian Edelman's new contract

Julian Edelman was already under contract for 2017 but the New England Patriots guaranteed that he will remain on the team until at least 2019. The contract pays Edelman a $5 million signing bonus and he can earn as much as $19.5 million over the next three seasons with the new contract extension adding $15 million to what he was already scheduled to make.

This contract extension ensures that the New England Patriots have four of their five best receivers locked up for multiple years. Brandin Cooks, who the team traded for from the New Orleans Saints, is locked in until 2018 as is Chris Hogan. Along with Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell is also locked up through 2019. Danny Amendola is the only receiver not locked up to a multi-year deal.

Quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski are also signed through 2019. In this offseason, the New England Patriots have ensured that Tom Brady has a completely stocked offense to try to repeat in the Super Bowl again this year.

Julian Edelman's performance

Julian Edelman has proven to be the most reliable receiver for the New England Patriots making him a perfect teammate for superstar tight end Rob Gronkowski.

In 2016, Edelman finished with a team-high 98 receptions for 1,106 yards. In the playoffs, Edelman added 21 more catches for 342 yards on the way to the Super Bowl.

With Rob Gronkowski struggling to remain healthy, Julian Edelman has quietly become one of the most reliable receivers in the NFL. The 2009 seventh round draft pick ranks behind only Antonio Brown, Demaryius Thomas, Julio Jones and Larry Fitzgerald for receptions over the past four seasons with 356.

Julian has also returned four punts for a touchdown, a New England Patriots record.

This is the second time the New England Patriots have extended the contract of Julian Edelman. He signed an extension back in 2014 as well for a maximum payout of $19 million with incentives as well. In 2016, Edelman paid that back by making a key leaping catch in the Super Bowl as The Patriots drove to beat the Atlanta Falcons in the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.