Wide receiver Julian Edelman announced his retirement Monday, hours after the New England Patriots terminated the contract of the former Super Bowl MVP.
A three-time Super Bowl winner, the 34-year-old Edelman ranks second in Patriots history in receptions (620), fourth in receiving yards (6,822) and ninth in touchdown receptions (36).
“By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all,” Patriots 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. He could, and did, do everything – catch, run, throw, block, return, cover and tackle – all with an edge and attitude that would not allow him to fail under any circumstance. Julian Edelman is the ultimate competitor and it was a privilege to coach him.”
A quarterback in college at Kent State, Edelman was drafted in the seventh round (232nd overall) by New England in 2009 and wound up playing in 137 regular season games and 19 postseason games.
Edelman posted three 1,000-yard seasons and two 100-catch campaigns. He missed the entire 2017 season with a torn ACL suffered in the preseason.
He was named the MVP of Super Bowl LIII after catching 10 passes for 141 yards in the Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
Edelman’s release frees up $3.4 million in salary cap space for the Patriots, per Spotrac.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)