Edelman: 'Proud to be part of team'

DENVER -- Receiver Julian Edelman had one of the more emotional postgame interviews in the Patriots' locker room following the team's 26-16 loss to the Broncos in the AFC Championship Game. At times, it looked like he was fighting back tears.

"I'm very proud to be part of this team," he said in a hushed tone. "We fought through a lot of adversity. There were a lot of ups and downs. It's just unfortunate that it had to end this way. Not the way we wanted to."

Edelman, who capped off a stellar 2013 season with a 10-catch, 89-yard performance, credited the Broncos by saying, "they flat-out beat us."

"It was pretty tough [out there]," he added. "Season ended. We're done. ... It was a pretty special group. Everyone fights to the very end. It just didn't go our way."

As for his future, the emotions were too raw for Edelman, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 11.

"I'm not even thinking about that right now," he said. "I'm thinking about the fellas in this locker room, our coaches, all the hard work that we put in. I'll think about that later."