Because Edelman was available at a bargain price.
Per a league source, Edelman’s one-year deal will pay the five-year minimum base salary of $715,000. Edelman also is eligible for a $50,000 workout bonus.
Given Edelman’s injury history, the contract also contains a so-called “split” salary, which reduces his base pay to $383,000 if he ends up on injured reserve.
As Tom Curran of CSN New England explained on PFT Live, Edelman’s versatility adds significant value to the Patriots’ offense. With players who can line up at various positions in the huddle, the defense doesn’t know where they’ll go before the snap until they get there — which also allows the Pats to move them around without a huddle and create all sorts of mismatches.
Besides, it’s not as if Edelman had many/any other options. So the career of a guy who entered the league pocketing peanuts as a seventh-round pick in 2009 will continue with Edelman earning the minimum. Or, if he gets hurt, less than that.