Julian Edelman announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday, ending a great career with the New England Patriots that included three Super Bowl rings.
The star wide receiver’s decision to walk away from the sport immediately sparked a debate over whether he should be voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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The Patriots selected Edelman in the seventh round of the 2009 NFL Draft out of Kent State. He was converted into a wide receiver from a quarterback. He helped the Patriots win three Super Bowls and made a big catch in Super Bowl LI to help New England come back down 28-3 to beat the Atlanta Falcons.
He finished his career with 620 catches for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns. He was a very good wide receiver and was integral for Tom Brady and the Patriots’ success in the regular season and the playoffs. However, he was never selected to a Pro Bowl and was never a First-Team All-Pro selection either. He won the Super Bowl LIII MVP when the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams, 13-3.
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He finished his career 156th in receiving yards, 75th in catches and in the top 300 of catching touchdowns. He finished second in playoff receptions with 118 catches, second in receiving yards with 1,142 yards and tied for 46th with five touchdowns.
Even with those statistical accolades, Edelman was perceived by some to be a Hall of Famer. A debate on social media ensued.
Edelman called his career with the Patriots the “best 12 years of my life.”
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“Nothing in my career has ever come easy, and no surprise this isn’t going to be easy either,” Edelman said. “I always said I’ll go until the wheels come off, and they finally have fallen off. Due to an injury last year, I’ll be making my official announcement of my retirement from football. This was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family. And I’m honored and so proud to be retiring a Patriot.”