Updated: Apr 15, 2021
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman retired today after 12 seasons with New England shortly after being released by the team due to a failed physical designation. Edelman had a great career and won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, and was always known to make big plays when they mattered the most. However, Edelman isn't a future Hall of Famer, like many suggested today after the announcement of his retirement.
If Edelman belongs in Canton, then Hines Ward definitely should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Warren Sharp of Sharp Football on Twitter compared Edelman's statistics to Ward's and the former Steeler great beats Edelman in pretty much every major category. They are tied with one Super Bowl MVP apiece, Edelman has three Super Bowl rings to Ward's two and has better playoff numbers than Ward, but not by much. That's it though. Ward wins in everything else -- receptions, receiving yards, touchdowns and Pro Bowls. And Ward hasn't even made the final ballot for the Hall of Fame in the five years that he's been eligible.
Edelman was great in the playoffs and is second all-time in postseason receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,422), but he also had just five touchdown receptions in the playoffs. Ward has 10 postseason touchdowns in one less game than Edelman's 19 postseason games. Ward is also tied for fifth in postseason receptions (88) and ranks eighth in receiving yards (1,181) in the playoffs.
Being productive in the postseason is definitely a noteworthy accomplishment, but it's not the be-all-end-all when it comes to being a Hall of Famer.
So, unless all the Hall of Fame voters are from Boston, Edelman won't be getting in the Hall of Fame ever. And if he does somehow make it, Ward should definitely get in as well because he had a better career.