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Edelman reveals who he's rooting for when Patriots play Tom Brady

Edelman will be honored by the Patriots at halftime of Sunday's Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints.

FOXBOROUGH, Massachusetts — EDITOR'S NOTE: The video above is from May 2019.

You might have heard about this already, but former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is coming back to Foxboro next week.

It's one of the most anticipated regular season games in a long time.

Brady spent 20 years with the Patriots and won six Super Bowl titles -- in addition to many other awards and NFL records -- with the franchise.

If it was weird seeing Brady play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season, it's probably going to be even weirder seeing him walk out of the Gillette Stadium tunnel next Sunday for the first time as an opponent.

How strange will that be for Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman? He used an interesting comparison for his answer.

“It's definitely gonna be weird,” Edelman told reporters on a Zoom call Thursday. “It’s like going to a family barbecue, or like a basketball event, and you’re the stepkid, or you’re the kid who has divorced parents, and your mom and dad are there, and you don’t know how to react. Are they gonna fight? Are they not gonna fight? “It's going to be interesting, but I’m excited for it. Who's not excited for it. It’s gonna be an exciting game.”

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Edelman, who retired after the 2020 season, forged a strong relationship with Brady during their 11 years together in New England from 2009 through 2019.

So what will Edelman be rooting for when the Patriots play Brady and the Buccaneers in a much-anticipated Week 4 matchup on "Sunday Night Football"? Where does his allegiance lie?

"To Foxboro, man," Edelman said in the Zoom call with reporters. "I hope Tom does great. I hope everyone stays healthy. I hope (Rob Gronkowski) does great. I hope it's just a high-scoring battle and maybe a little Mac (Jones) comes out. Who knows. We'll see."

Edelman was asked a similar question next, and he sort of pivoted at the end of his answer. It was understandable, though, because Edelman is now a member of the media as an analyst on Showtime's "Inside the NFL" program.

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"I want the Patriots to win. But I also want them to do well, Gronk and Tom, so we'll see " he said. "I'm in the media now, I'm an analyst, I can't be taking sides right now. For the integrity of the art of the analyst, I'm going to take the fifth on that one actually because I'll have to see how both perform and then I'll break it down afterward and give my opinions."

Edelman will be honored by the Patriots at halftime of Sunday's Week 3 game against the New Orleans Saints. The longtime Patriots wide receiver announced his retirement in April following an 11-year career that saw him win three Super Bowl titles (including Super Bowl LIII MVP) in New England.

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