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Edelman Signs Two-Year Extension With Patriots
The Patriots have finalized a two-year contract extension with Julian Edelman, who was set to enter the final year of a deal that paid a base salary of $2 million. According to ESPN's Mike Reiss, the extension includes an $8 million signing bonus and $12 million guaranteed.

As suggested, Edelman's worth to the Patriots' offense can't be overstated, as he is easily quarterback Tom Brady's top security blanket as a do-it-all wide receiver.

Since entering the league in 2009 as an undrafted free agent out of Kent State with the Patriot, the 5-10, 198-pound Edelman, who turns 33 on Wednesday, developed into one of the NFL's most reliable weapons.

Edelman broke out in 2013 with 105 catches for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns on 151 targets, and has averaged 86 catches for 935.2 yards and 5.2 touchdowns on 128 targets over the past five seasons.

He has played a big role on three Super Bowl-winning teams, including capturing the MVP award in Super Bowl LIII's win over the Los Angeles Rams. Edelman also produced one of the top championship-game circus catches in the Patriots' comeback win over the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl LI.

On his career, Edelman has appeared in 115 games with 71 starts, totaling 499 catches for 5,390 yards and 30 touchdowns, adding 364 yards rushing on 48 attempts.

Edelman also plays a role as a punt returner on special teams, where he has amassed 1,986 career yards and four touchdowns on 177 attempts.

Meanwhile, as suggested, the retirement of Rob Gronkowski is a loss for all of us. All of us except Edelman.

Per ESPN's Matthew Berry, in the past 16 games for Edelman without Gronkowski in the lineup, he has 114 receptions for 1,374 yards and three touchdowns. Or, to put it another way, 269.4 fantasy points, which last season would have been WR10, just ahead of Stefon Diggs.

Even with Gronkowski, he was pretty much outstanding in 2018.

On a per game basis he was every bit as good as he was in 2017, if not a little bit better. And he's plenty busy Gronk's presence notwithstanding. According to ESPN's Mike Clay, Edelman's target shares during weeks he has been active his past five seasons: 26, 26, 26, 29 and 26 percent.

Any predictions for his 2019 rate? Durability is the drawback -- he has missed 45 of a possible 160 regular-season games (28 percent) since joining the team in 2009 -- but Edelman should flirt with WR1 numbers when active even if rookie N'Keal Harry manages to land a contributing role.