By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Julian Edelman is getting a much-deserved raise.
The Patriots wide receiver and Super Bowl LIII MVP is in the final stages of a multi-year contract extension with New England, as first reported by Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. Edelman was entering the final year of his deal in 2019.
Garafolo added that the extension should keep the soon-to-be-33-year-old Edelman in a Patriots uniform "for the rest of his career". (Update: Ian Rapoport says it's a two-year extension.) Edelman turns 33 on Wednesday.
It's fair to wonder how much Edelman has left long-term considering the beating he takes as a slot receiver. But at the same time, Edelman never had more than 54 targets in a season until 2013. Since he missed all of 2017 due to a torn ACL, Edelman has been a full-time NFL receiver for only five seasons. So there's a chance that he can continue to excel as Tom Brady's most trusted target for a couple more years.
Edelman is set to earn up to $3.875 million in total cash in 2019, per Spotrac. First-round receiver N'Keal Harry out of Arizona State, meanwhile, is tabbed for $5,859,252 - most of which in the form of a signing bonus.
Upping Edelman's paychecks was a must, if only for the Patriots' wide receiver hierarchy. He certainly deserves it after making 10 catches for 141 yards in Super Bowl LIII, earning MVP honors after the Patriots beat the Rams 13-3.
As the Patriots' search for the next Edelman continues, it's comforting to know that he will likely be there for Brady throughout the rest of No. 12's career. As the pair proved in the Super Bowl, they're as hard to beat as ever.
UPDATE: Per Mike Reiss, Edelman's extension through 2021 includes an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million guaranteed.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].