Patriots, Julian Edelman finalizing contract extension

Wide receiver Julian Edelman is in position to finish his career with the New England Patriots and will receive an early birthday present.

The Patriots are in the process of finalizing a contract extension with Edelman, who was set to enter the final year of a deal that paid a base salary of $2 million, NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Tuesday. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport added it's a two-year, $18 million extension with $12 million guaranteed. The deal also has an $8 million signing bonus and features $2.8 million guaranteed in 2021, the final season of the contract.

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 Patriots, the 5-foot-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.

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