The 2020 Pro Bowl roster officially came out, and Julian Edelman was notably absent from the roster. Despite losing Rob Gronkowski in the offseason and battling injury for the vast majority of the season, Edelman is in the midst of the best season of his career. He’s the life of New England’s offense and deserves recognition among the league’s elite. Leaving him off the Pro Bowl team is a catastrophic mistake which shows that absolutely nobody should view the list as anything more than a glorified popularity contest.
Julian Edelman Deserves A Spot on 2020 Pro Bowl Roster
The AFC‘s four Pro Bowl selections were DeAndre Hopkins, Keenan Allen, Jarvis Landry, and Tyreek Hill. Hopkins is a genuine superstar and has played at an elite level throughout the season. He’s one of the two or three best receivers in the league and justifiably earned a spot over Edelman. The other three, however, aren’t as easy to justify.
Keenan Allen and Julian Edelman are having remarkably similar seasons. Through 14 games, Allen has recorded 90 receptions for 1,046 yards and five touchdowns. He’s served as the primary option in the passing game with a regressing Philip Rivers, a disappointing Mike Williams, and an oft-injured Hunter Henry. Edelman, meanwhile, has 92 receptions for 1,019 yards and six touchdowns as the only reliable option in the passing game. Edelman has had a marginally better season but both players are worthy of Pro Bowl honors.
There is no case to be made for Jarvis Landry or Tyreek Hill being on this roster over Edelman. Landry is the top option for America’s most underwhelming passing attack. So far, he only has 74 receptions for 1,018 yards and five touchdowns despite having Odell Beckham taking most of the defensive focus. Landry is having a fine season, but he is not better than Julian Edelman.
In a vacuum, Tyreek Hill is a considerably better receiver than Julian Edelman. However, Hill has only played in 10 games this season, and left two of those early with injury. The best ability is availability, and Hill just hasn’t been on the field enough to justify a spot over Edelman.
Why It Matters
Super Bowl contestants don’t play in the Pro Bowl, so ideally, Julian Edelman will not be eligible to play in the Pro Bowl. Even if New England doesn’t make the Super Bowl, Edelman probably won’t go due to his vast array of injuries. However, even if Edelman wouldn’t go to the game, there are reasons the Pro Bowl snub matters.
From a financial standpoint, Julian Edelman just lost a lot of money. According to Tucker Boynton, Edelman had a $250,000 incentive for making the Pro Bowl. While this isn’t much money for a player like Edelman, it’s still better than nothing. Edelman is one of the biggest reasons this team is 11-3, and he deserves an extra bonus for his high level of play.
People love to say, "We won't be playing in the game anyways," but Edelman would receive $250K for making a Pro Bowl, and this could be the best crack he'll have at 33 years old. For a guy who's worked his tail off to get here and is putting up career numbers… pic.twitter.com/N1S6LkBDYj
— Tucker Boynton (@Tucker_TnL) December 18, 2019
The second reason comes down to pride. Despite being a three-time Super Bowl champion and one-time Super Bowl MVP, Edelman has never made a Pro Bowl. At age 33, this might be Edelman’s last chance to earn a Pro Bowl nomination. Edelman has a very physical style of play and might not have too much time left on the field. By comparison, Edelman’s predecessor, Wes Welker, was in his last year with the Denver Broncos by the time he turned 33. Following his age-33 season, Welker spent a portion of one season with the Los Angeles Rams before calling it a career.
Julian Edelman is one of the most important non-quarterbacks in the league and deserves recognition among the league’s elite wide receivers. He’s one of the most consistent players in the league and carries the offense like few receivers in the league.
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