Why Edelman could slip away

He's earned a top contract, but Pats may settle on a lower-priced option

Updated: March 7, 2014, 4:07 PM ET
By Field Yates | ESPNBoston.com

By now, the story of Julian Edelman's 2013 rise to prominence is well-known.

From longtime reserve to 105-catch star, he far exceeded expectations during his fifth NFL season.

And while Edelman's breakout year can in some ways be used to argue against ponying up big dough to retain the free-agent wide receiver -- after all, he was paid just over $1 million last season -- the Patriots must look long and hard at bringing him back.

A quarterback ...

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