BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 14: Julian Edelman #11 of the New England Patriots looks on during a game between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers at TD Garden on October 16, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman trolls fans with perfect April Fool’s Day joke

April 1, 2022

Former New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman taunts NFL fans hoping for a return with a hilariously cruel April Fool’s joke.

In the wildest NFL offseason to date, it seems that Tom Brady’s return from a brief retirement may have inspired other greats in the game. Ray Lewis wondered if he should “pull a Brady”, which prompted the plea: if Lewis is coming back to the game, he should bring his “Inside The NFL” co-host Julian Edelman with him.

A few days later, Edelman appeared to make an unexpected return to football, announcing on Twitter that he was joining Tommy and Gronky in Tampa Bay. But Edelman’s graphic turned out to be an April Fool’s gag, which Edelman clarified in the corner of his photo.

Julian Edelman plays cruel April Fool’s joke on NFL fans

Believing that joke stings especially for Patriots fans, who join Robert Kraft in lamenting the team’s absence from the playoffs for the past three years. After winning a Super Bowl in 2018, Pats fans have been dealt one blow after another: Rob Gronkowski “retired” in 2019; Brady left in 2020; Edelman retired in 2021. If all three relocated to the Buccaneers—especially if the trio won a Super Bowl—the betrayal would wound Pats Nation worse than the Lawyer Milloy trade.

But Edelman is known for his jokes, mastering the meme game with on-point references to The Office and timely depictions of Tom Brady vs. retirement.

As disappointing as it is to know that Edelman won’t be taking the field with his former teammates, the silver lining here is that Edelman meant it when he offered a heartfelt “Foxboro Forever” to Patriots fans upon retiring. Still, seeing the great suit up—even if it was in pewter—may be worth it just to see Edelman make an even stronger Hall of Fame case.