Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY

Mazz: Time for the Patriots to Crown Jules - With a New Contract

By Tony Massarotti, 98.5 The Sports Hub

First, Trent Brown agreed with the Oakland Raiders. Then, Trey Flowers agreed with the Detroit Lions. And yet, as the NFL free-agent frenzy began, the most important developments may have come for a player already under contract with the team.

Time for the Patriots to take care of Julian Edelman.

Fair is fair, after all, and after receivers Jamison Crowder and Adam Humphries agreed to new contracts yesterday, here is a conclusion we can all agree upon: Edelman is underpaid. Crowder, formerly of the Washington Redskins, got three years and $28.5 million from the New York Jets with $17 million guaranteed. Humphries, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, got four years and $36 million from the Tennessee Titans – ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that the Titans outbid the Patriots for Humphries – and you can bet that his guaranteed money exceeds that of Crowder.

Meanwhile, Edelman is due a base salary of just $2 million in 2019 in the final year of a two-year, $11 million extension that looks like birdseed at the moment.

So if I’m Edelman, here are three points I make:

  1. I’m better than those guys and I shouldn’t be playing for birdseed in the final year of my contract; and …
  2. If you wanted to bring in Humphries to work with me, fine. But there is no way you could have justified paying him more than me; and…
  3. I haven’t even brought up the fact yet that I was the Most Valuable Player of the Super Bowl.

So fine, maybe we disagree on Brown and maybe we disagree on Flowers. We all know how the offseason works in Foxboro. The ever-loyal supporters of Bill Belichick – the Belichick-lets – will always swear by the coach. And they should. You don’t take a team to nine Super Bowls as a head coach, winning six of them, without earning a great deal of latitude.

But Edelman? Let’s not be ridiculous. The Patriots missed him for the first four games last year and it showed. With Danny Amendola gone, the Patriots had no suitable replacement behind him. Now there are lesser players making more, some of whom the Pats seemingly tried to recruit.

For certain, the Patriots need to start grooming Edelman’s replacement at a position that has great value to their offense.

While they’re trying to find him, they should greatly value the man who fills it now.

You can hear Tony Massarotti weekdays from 2-6 p.m. EST on the Felger & Massarotti program. Follow him on Twitter @TonyMassarotti.