Early Monday, the New England Patriots cut wide receiver Julian Edelman following a failed physical. After the move was announced, many were hoping that the veteran wide receiver could join quarterback Tom Brady and tight end Rob Gronkowski with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Hours later, Edelman formally announced his retirement from the NFL after a 12-year career with the Patriots, who drafted him in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. The 34-year-old Edelman finished his career with 620 receptions for 6,822 yards and 36 receiving touchdowns.

He was also instrumental in helping the Patriots win three Super Bowl rings during his 12-year stay in New England as he tallied 118 receptions and 1,442 receiving yards, second to Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, who had 151 catches and 2,245 yards in the postseason. Brady immediately paid tribute to his long-time receiver and close friend on his Twitter and Instagram accounts.

Gronk believes Edelman would still play

However, Gronkowski is convinced that Edelman would come out of retirement and join him and Brady in Tampa Bay.

During an interview with TMZ Sports, Gronkowski said he’s 69 percent sure that Edelman would come out of retirement and reunite with Brady and him with the Buccaneers. "He'll be back. He'll be back. Yeah,” said Gronkowski, who played with Edelman from 2010 to 2018. Last season, Gronkowski did the same thing as he came out of his one-year retirement and join Brady in Tampa Bay.

The move paid dividends as Brady and Gronkowski helped the Buccaneers win their first Super Bowl title since 2002. During the TMZ interview, Gronkowski said Edelman is 100 percent a Patriots Hall of Famer but he’s not sure if the wide receiver would make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame yet. "I definitely think he has a great possibility to be a Hall of Famer," said Gronkowski, adding that Edelman’s numbers don’t everything that he brings to the table, especially the competitiveness that he possesses.

Writer also raises possibility of Edelman returning

In his article, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk also raised the possibility that Edelman might return for another run with Brady and Gronkowski as the Buccaneers go for back-to-back Super Bowl titles. Florio said retirements aren’t binding and even if Edelman announced that he’s already done and he would never play for any team other than the Patriots, there is a possibility that he could do it. Florio said two weeks ago, Edelman posted an April Fool’s Day joke about joining Brady in Tampa Bay. Florio said the Buccaneers won’t need Edelman in August, September, October and November but he could join the team for the stretch run and in the playoffs.

After he was cut by the Patriots, Florio said Edelman can whatever he has to do over the next several months to heal his right knee and body as he would not be tested for PEDs. “Is it likely to happen? Probably not. Is it a possibility that should be ignored? Definitely not,” Florio said as he ended his article.

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