BOSTON (CBS) — The New England Patriots were hoping that their leading receiver during the 2013 season wouldn’t hit the free agent market on Tuesday afternoon.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Patriots offered Julian Edelman a three-year deal and wanted to get an answer before free agency started at 4pm.

He gave them his answer, and it was “no thanks,” according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Edelman, who signed a one-year deal with New England last off-season, will indeed be testing the free agent waters come Tuesday afternoon. Reports say that New England’s offer fell short of Edelman’s expectations, but the two sides will continue to talk and a return to the Patriots is possible for the 27-year-old receiver.

Edeman was Tom Brady’s favorite target in 2013, hauling in a career-high 105 receptions for 1, 056 yards and six touchdowns in 2013. He kept putting up big numbers in the playoffs, adding another 16 receptions and a touchdown during New England’s postseason run.

Follow: NFL Free Agency Tracker

A seventh-round pick by New England in 2009, Edelman also served as New England’s primary punt returner in 2013, returning 35 of 36 punts for 374 yards.

Edelman made just over $1 million in 2013, and is in line for a pretty hefty pay-raise after his productive season on the field.


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