Julian Edelman has made a big decision on his NFL career. On Monday afternoon, the former New England Patriots wide receiver announced he's retiring after spending 11 seasons in the league. This news comes shortly after the Patriots terminated his contract.
"I've always said I'm going until the wheels come off, and they've finally fallen off," Edelman said in a video posted on his Twitter account. "Due to an injury last year, I'll be making my official announcement of my retirement from football. It was a hard decision but the right decision for me and my family. I'm honored and so proud to be returning a Patriot." The Patriots terminated his contract due to a failed physical. However, as Adam Schefter of ESPN mentioned, Edelman becomes eligible for injury protection benefit. This means he can collect up to $2 million through the benefit.
Foxboro Forever pic.twitter.com/x3SDDPJoTX— Julian Edelman (@Edelman11) April 12, 2021
Edelman was selected by the Patriots in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft. In his career, Edelman caught 620 passes for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. He helped the team win two Super Bowls and was named MVP of Super Bowl LII. Due to the impact he made while playing for the Patriots, Edelman was named to the 2010's All-Decade Team.
"By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all," Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick said in a statement. "Few players can match Julian's achievements, period, but considering his professional trajectory and longevity, the group is even more select. It is historic. This is a tribute to his legendary competitiveness, mental and physical toughness and will to excel. Day in and day out, Julian was always the same: all out. Then, in the biggest games and moments, with championships at stake, he reached even greater heights and delivered some of his best, most thrilling performances. For all Julian did for our team, what I may appreciate the most is he was the quintessential throwback player."
"Julian Edelman is one of the great success stories in our franchise's history," Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. There aren't many players who earn an NFL roster spot at a position they have never played before. Julian not only did that as a seventh-round draft selection, but he is retiring with the second-most career receptions in franchise history and as a three-time Super Bowl Champion, including his last as Super Bowl MVP." Edelman was dealing with a chronic knee issue last year, leading him to only play in six games. It was the first year that he wasn't playing with Tom Brady as he signed a contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last March.