New England Patriots great Julian Edelman announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday afternoon.
Edelman, a three-time Super Bowl champion and the MVP of Super Bowl LIII, posted an emotional video on social media of himself sitting at the Patriots’ home field, Gillette Stadium. In the post, the former seventh-round draft pick said how playing in the NFL as a Patriot has “been 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.”
Edelman also thanked Patriots owner Robert Kraft and his family, head coach Bill Belichick as well as his teammates and coaches through the years.
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“It’s a helluva run,” Edelman, 35, concluded. “And I can’t forget you, Patriot Nation. You guys welcomed me and my family to a region we didn’t know. But now, I am one of you. I’ll leave you guys with two words: Foxboro Forever.”
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Edelman finished his career with 620 receptions, 6,822 receiving yards, and 41 touchdowns.
The fan-favorite receiver was actually a quarterback in college at Kent State and was converted to wideout. But every now and then, New England would tap into his QB skills. Edelman completed 7 of 8 passes in the NFL for 179 yards, with two touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.
Despite those throwing skills, it was his catching of the ball that made him such a standout — especially in the playoffs. He had 118 postseason receptions and 1,442 yards in the postseason. Both rank him second in the Super Bowl era behind the legendary Jerry Rice.