Patriots Make Surprising Move on Julian Edelman

The New England Patriots have made the final call on Julian Edelman. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network via the transaction wire, The Patriots have terminated the contract of the star wide receiver after being on the team for 11 seasons. Edelman is listed as a failed physical.

The Patriots selected Edelman in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft back from Kent State. During his time in New England, Edelman, 34, helped the team win three Super Bowls and was named Super Bowl MVP in 2019. Edelman is also a member of the Patriots All-Decade Team. Rapoport mentioned that Edelman has been working on getting his knee right. It's possible he could retire from the NFL, and Rapoport says that decision could come down soon.

Last week, the Boston Herald reported that it was doubtful that Edleman will play at all this season because of a chronic knee injury he's been dealing with. This is the same issue Edelman was dealing with in 2020, leading him to only play just six games and catching only 21 passes for 315 yards and no touchdowns. 2020 was the first year, Edleman didn't play with Tom Brady who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last March. Letting Edelman go is part of the Patriots' process of rebuilding their team after going 7-9 last season. It was the first time since 2008 New England missed the playoffs.

"In the end, if you want to have a good, consistent, winning football team, you can't do it in free agency. You have to do it through the draft. I don't feel we've done the greatest job the last few years and I really hope, and I believe, I've seen a different approach this year," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said at the owners meeting in March. The Patriots currently have the 15th overall pick in the draft and have a number of needs. A wide receiver could be an option as the team's leading receiver last season was Jakobi Meyers who caught 59 passes for 729 yards and no touchdowns.

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"What happened here last year was not something to our liking. We had to make the corrections," Kraft said. "In all the businesses we're involved in, we try to take advantage of inefficiencies in the market. We were in a unique cap situation this year and it allowed us to try to [fix] things we missed, to a certain extent, in the draft. So this was our best opportunity."