Julian Edelman sat in a director's chair at midfield at Gillette Stadium recently, telling Patriots fans his wheels had finally fallen off, and he was calling it a career.
His former teammate thinks otherwise.
Rob Gronkowski told TMZ he believes Edelman isn't done yet, saying "he'll be back. He'll be back. Yeah."
As soon as news of Edelman's release hit the internet, folks online immediately speculated that, like Gronkowski became last offseason, Edelman would be a Buccaneer before long. For now, we'll have to take Edelman at his word, but that won't stop those online, who also launched into a debate we even tackled at NFL.com on Monday evening.
At the center of the debate: Is Edelman, a three-time Super Bowl champion, a future Pro Football Hall of Famer?
Gronkowski, a surefire pick to one day land in Canton himself, believes the answer is yes.
"I definitely think he has a great possibility to be a Hall of Famer," Gronkowski said. "He's a beast. And the numbers just don't show everything that he brings to the table. The attitude, the competitiveness that he has."
The most significant evidence in favor of a gold jacket for Edelman is his toughness, and his postseason production. But the counterpoints against such an argument are just as strong. Edelman was part of a team that reached the postseason on an annual basis, caught passes from the greatest quarterback to ever play the game, and doesn't pack the statistical punch (nor does he carry the accolades typical of a Hall of Famer).
The debate, while not the strongest, can live on in the endess forum that is Twitter. Gronkowski is sold on his stance. We'll have to wait to see if his predictions come true.