Brady on Edelman: 'I'm just proud of him'

It sounds like Tom Brady is hoping the New England Patriots will re-sign his most reliable receiver this season, Julian Edelman, who is set to become a free agent.

In his weekly interview on WEEI on Monday morning, Brady had high praise for Edelman, who finished the season with 105 catches, 1,056 yards and six touchdowns, and had 10 catches for 89 yards and a TD in Sunday's AFC title game.

"He had an incredible season," said Brady. "No one could have ever predicted what he could accomplish for our team. I mean, he was one guy that was so consistent and dependable for us. I’m just proud of him because of his mental toughness and maturity and his work ethic. He spent a lot of time watching over the last four years. And to finally get an opportunity where he could be an every-down player, and the way he contributed to our team, especially in a game like yesterday where he made so many great plays for us, it was great to see.

"Free agency and stuff, that takes time to develop. And I know how difficult a task it is for our team to make decisions like this, and we’ve had to make a lot of tough decisions over the years. All those things sort themselves out. Coach Belichick is the one that makes all those tough decisions. I love [Edelman], he’s one of my best pals, I spent a lot of time with him. I’m just proud of him for everything that he’s accomplished. He deserves the best."

Brady was asked how he'd rate the first-season performance of another Patriots receiver, Danny Amendola, who finished the regular season with 54 catches for 633 yards and two touchdowns, and had no catches on Sunday.

After a pause, he said: "You know, it’s not for me to evaluate, our coaches do all that. He worked really hard, fought through a pretty tough injury (groin) early in the year, did everything the team asked of him. I really enjoyed working with him. It will be great to have another offseason with him, and Aaron Dobson, and KT (Kenbrell Thompkins) and (Josh) Boyce. We have a young core of receivers and it’s going to be up to us to determine how hard we work, and how important football is to us so that we can go out and make improvements and be one of the prolific offenses in the league."