Smith endorses Edelman's Hall of Fame case after Super Bowl and MVP success
With three championship rings and a Super Bowl MVP award to match, Julian Edelman's Hall of Fame case was backed by former New England Patriots star Antowain Smith.
Edelman led the way as the Patriots defeated the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII – Sunday's performance earning him MVP honours in Atlanta.
The 32-year-old receiver has never been selected to Pro Bowl but he now has three Super Bowl titles to go with this season's MVP in the NFL's showpiece.
As debate surrounded post-season specialist Edelman and his candidacy, two-time Super Bowl champion Smith – who was alongside Tom Brady when the star quarterback won his first championship in 2002 – heaped praise on the New England veteran.
"Julian is one of the best slot receivers to play the game," Smith, 46, told Omnisport. "He's not that fast, not that big… but he makes plays.
"Everyone knows who Brady is going to go to on third down. It's a security play. You know it but you can't do anything about it because he reads the defense so well.
"Hall of Fame… it's a possibility. If he keeps going the way he's going, why not? The numbers are there."
Edelman – who missed the start of the season while serving a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substance policy – had a game-high 10 catches for 141 yards, while he threw in an eight-yard run on a sweep against the Rams.
He was the seventh different player with 10-plus catches and 100-plus receiving yards in a Super Bowl, and the fourth different Patriot.
During the game, Edelman passed former Dallas Cowboys star Michael Irvin for second in career postseason receiving yards.
Edelman also became the seventh wide receiver to be named the Super Bowl MVP, and the first since Santonio Holmes in 2009. Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch won MVP honours in Super Bowl XXXIV.