The Patriots are expected to have linebacker Donta’ Hightower, safety Patrick Chung, and tackle Marcus Cannon back after they opted out of playing in 2020, but it’s less clear how things will play out with wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Edelman didn’t opt out last year, but he was limited to six games due to a knee injury. While there was hope at the time of the injury that he’d be back before the season was over, Edelman never returned to action and Bill Belichick said in early January that it was too soon to know about his status for next season.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that there isn’t any more clarity on Edelman right now. Rapoport reports that Edelman wants to play, but that his knee still isn’t well enough and it’s uncertain that continued rehab will get him where he needs to be.
Edelman is due to make $2.8 million this season with a cap hit of just over $6.1 million. There’s enough cap space in New England to make it so there’s no financial reason for the team to move on, but it will likely be some time before there’s any definitive word on his outlook for 2021.