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Report: Julian Edelman’s chronic knee issues put future with Patriots in doubt

Julian Edelman's injury issues are likely to affect his ability to play a full season.
Julian Edelman's injury issues are likely to affect his ability to play a full season.Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff

With one year left on his contract, Julian Edelman wants to give it another run with a revamped Patriots offense in 2021 after spending most of last year on injured reserve.

But his balky knee might not let him do it, which could make his future in Foxborough murky.

The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian reported Thursday that the three-time champion and Super Bowl LIII MVP will likely not be able to play the entire 2021 season, according to what a source told her about the extent of Edelman’s lingering knee troubles.

The receiver has battled knee pain and soreness dating back to the 2019 season and went on IR after New England’s Week 6 game against the Denver Broncos in 2020 for an undisclosed knee injury, having surgery shortly after. But, as the source told Guregian, “while surgery can provide temporary relief, nothing can solve the underlying problem.”

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That leaves the Patriots with a question: Is keeping Edelman, even if out of respect for all he has accomplished with the team, worth it?

New England stands to save roughly $3.5 million in cap space if they trade or release Edelman. The team still has Jakobi Meyers, the leading receiver from last year, under contract for another year before he becomes a restricted free agent in 2022.

Edelman could also choose to retire, though he said in January he’s “not there yet.” His age and injury issues would likely make his trade market nonexistent.