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Edelman's Future?

Mathematically, there are still ways the New England Patriots to squeak into the postseason.

Realistically, it's likely the Sons of Bill Belichick are playing out the string the last three games, and trying to avoid the team's first losing record since Belichick's first year in 2000.

That being said, it's time to wonder, is it worth Julian Edelman playing another down this season?

The answer is a resounding no.

Edelman hasn't played since Week 7 before landing on injured reserve with a knee injury.

When healthy, Edelman is one of the game's best slot receivers, as evidenced by his MVP performance in Super Bowl LIII.

But the man known as The Squirrel throughout New England has been banged up frequently the last few seasons, including tearing his ACL in the 2017 preseason.

Edelman is also 34 years old, which is the back nine of a career for a slot receiver who takes punishing hits day in and day out.

The woeful Patriots offense has missed Edelman's leadership throughout the year, and quarterback Cam Newton has no security blanket.

Jakobi Meyers has done an admirable job this year, but he's no Edelman.

It's not worth it to get Edelman even more banged up than he already is by throwing him out there for a few meaningless games.

He'll be heading into a contract year in the 2021 season, which likely could be his last in New England unless he's traded in the offseason. And it's not impossible to believe he could be shipped to Tampa Bay to be reunited with BFF Tom Brady.

But the Pats have salary cap flexibility to upgrade the woeful receiving core next offseason, so a healthy Edelman could give the offense a lift next season.

There are more questions than answers at this point, but the answer to suiting The Squirrel up any more this season, even though Edelman has said he wants to play when he's eligible to return, should be a resounding no.

His health should be a top priority. As should making a deep postseason run in 2021.

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