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Julian Edelman to re-sign with New England Patriots

On the same day the New England Patriots signed restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders to an offer sheet, they are bringing back one of their own free-agent wide receivers.

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported Julian Edelman will sign a one-year, incentive-laden contract later Wednesday. The agreement was first noted by USA Today's Mike Garafolo on Wednesday morning.

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When Edelman visited the New York Giants last week, our immediate reaction was that he simply was gauging his market before returning to a Patriots team that values him more than any other franchise in the NFL.

The offensive coaching staff thought highly enough of Edelman's run-after-catch ability coming out of training camp last season that he was playing ahead of Wes Welker until a Week 3 hand injury sent him to the sidelines.

If Edelman is going to land a more lucrative long-term contract outside of New England, he's going to have to prove he can stay healthy in 2013.

If the Pittsburgh Steelers don't match the offer to Sanders by Monday, the Patriots' overhauled wide receiver depth chart will read: Danny Amendola, Sanders, Donald Jones, Edelman and Michael Jenkins. Although a high-end speedster is missing, the common thread with all five receivers is they have the ability to play outside as well as inside.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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