The Julian Edelman Era has seemingly come to an end for the New England Patriots, as the team has reportedly terminated the veteran wideout’s contract with a failed physical designation, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
The #Patriots have terminated the contract of WR Julian Edelman, per the wire. He’s listed as a failed physical.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 12, 2021
According to ESPN’s Mike Reiss, the termination comes with the expectation that Edelman is going to retire from the NFL.
Limited by injuries last season, the 34-year-old Edelman is coming off a 2020 that featured 21 catches and 315 yards in just six games, and a recent report suggested that it was unlikely that Edelman’s knee could handle a full slate of games in 2021.
Speaking at the conclusion of the 2020 season, Patriots coach Bill Belichick opted not to discuss the playing future of Edelman, instead saying that it was ‘too early’ to talk about next season.
But the Patriots seemingly made moves to prepare for a potential Edelman exit after 12 seasons with the franchise, signing both Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor to multi-year deals at the start of free agency.
Edelman, a seventh-round pick of the team back in 2009, has spent his entire career with the Patriots, and ranks second on the team’s all-time catches list (620), fourth in yards (6,822), and ninth in touchdowns (36).
Edelman was also a prolific playoff contributor for the Patriots, with 118 catches for 1,442 yards and five touchdowns in 19 postseason contests. His 118 catches are the second-most in NFL postseason history, trailing only Jerry Rice’s 151 receptions. Same for his receiving yards total, too, with his 1,442 yards through the air the second-most in NFL playoff history, trailing Rice’s 2,245. Edelman had the hardware to go with the stats, too, winning three Super Bowls during his time in New England, and capturing MVP honors in the Patriots’ Super Bowl LIII win over the Los Angeles Rams.