Almost immediately after the Monday announcement that the Patriots had terminated Julian Edelman’s contract, the rumors started swirling about a potential reunion between him and Tom Brady. Those rumors were quickly put to bed about an hour later, when Edelman released a video on social media officially announcing his retirement.
“I’ve always said, I’m going to go until the wheels come off, and they finally have fallen off,” an emotional Edelman says in the video. “Due to an injury last year, I’ll be making my official announcement of my retirement from football.”
Edelman went on to thank the Patriots coaching and support staff, as well as the fans of the team.
“Patriots Nation – you guys have welcomed me and my family to a region we didn’t know,” he says. “But now, I’m one of you. I’m going to leave you with two words. Foxboro forever.”
“By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all,” Bill Belichick said of Edelman in a statement released by the team shortly after his announcement. In the same release, Patriots owner Robert Kraft called Edelman, “one of the great success stories in our franchise’s history.”
Because the Patriots released Edelman with a failed physical designation before the announcement, he is eligible to collect up to $2 million in injury protection benefits, according to Adam Schefter. With his release, the Patriots save $3.4 million against the cap.
A seventh round draft pick as a converted quarterback from Kent State in 2009, Edelman became one of the Patriots all-time great players, winning three Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP. He leaves the team second all-time in franchise catches (620), and fourth in yards (6,822). He’s also the team’s all-time leader in punt return touchdowns (4), and yards per return (11.2, minimum 100 attempts).
With Edelman no longer on the roster, James White becomes the team’s active leading receiver. N’Keal Harry is now the longest tenured player at the wide receiver position – he was drafted in the first round in 2019.
PHOTOS: Julian Edelman Through The Years
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.