His journey has not been easy and, in fact, he was possibly only one bad season from being cast aside.
He had the worst season of his career in 2015 when he threw 21 touchdowns — the second fewest in his career — and 16 interceptions (the second most in his career), and the Falcons crumbled to finish 8-8 after having started 5-0.
His lack of leadership was being called into question, and his inconsistency was under the microscope.
¡°Although it sounds like a clich¨¦, you have to trust in the process and focus on what you can control,¡± Ryan said.
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Since being drafted with the third pick in the 2008 draft out of Boston College, Ryan has had a mountain to climb in Atlanta.
In the past four years, he has recorded 75 of his 84 career postseason receptions. His total of 84 puts him seventh on the all-time list, but he¡¯s primed to potentially leapfrog the cluster of five players ahead of him — Andre Reed (85), Michael Irvin (87), Hines Ward (88), Wes Welker (88) and Reggie Wayne (93) — if he delivers his standard production in Super Bowl LI. No one is touching all-time leader Jerry Rice (151) for some time.
How can a player with Edelman’s level of playoff production essentially receive the cold shoulder from 31 other teams as a free agent?
It¡¯s hard to fathom now, but health was a part of it, as Edelman battled injuries at various points of his second, third and fourth seasons in the NFL, when he totaled just 32 receptions. Also, Welker was the Patriots’ go-to target at the time, and when he left as a free agent in the offseason after the 2012 season, the team signed Danny Amendola to a big-money deal as his replacement.
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