FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots announced that they have re-signed unrestricted free agent wide receiver Julian Edelman. Terms of the contract were not announced.
Edelman, 26, is a veteran of four NFL seasons with New England after joining the team as a seventh-round draft choice (232nd overall) out of Kent State in 2009. The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder, has played in 48 NFL games with 13 starts and has 69 receptions for 714 yards and four touchdowns, 12 rushing attempts for 72 yards, 26 kickoff returns for 563 yards and 72 punt returns for 943 yards with three returned for touchdowns. He has played in five postseason games with two starts and has nine receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns, two rushing attempts for 10 yards, three kickoff returns for 73 yards and seven punt returns for 105 yards.
Edelman enters the 2013 with a 13.1 punt return average, first in team history. The NFL all-time leader (min. of 75 returns) is 12.8 by George McAfee of Chicago (1940-41, 45-50) with 112 returns for 1,431 yards. Edelman needs three more returns to qualify for the all-time lead in NFL history. He set a franchise record with a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown vs. Miami on Jan. 1, 2011.
Last season, Edelman played in nine games with three starts and caught 21 passes for 235 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Edelman returned 17 punts for 263 yards and tied a team record with his third career punt returned for a touchdown with a 68-yard punt return in the second quarter vs. Indianapolis (11/18). He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 4 with a foot injury.
A quarterback in college, Edelman was converted to a returner and a wide receiver as a rookie with New England in 2009.