Julian Edelman announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday after a 12-year run with the New England Patriots. The three-time Super Bowl winner ends a stellar career after being taken in the seventh round by the Patriots in the 2009 NFL Draft.
He finishes with 620 catches for 6,822 receiving yards and 36 TD’s in 156 career games.
The 34-year-old Edelman had outstanding postseason performances in 19 playoff games with 118 receptions, second all-time behind Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who caught 151 in a 20-year NFL career. He also has 1,442 receiving yards in the postseason, also second behind Rice with 2,245.
“Nothing in my career has ever come easy,” Edelman said. “This isn’t going to be easy either. I’ve always said I’m going until the wheels come off and they finally have fallen off. Due to an injury last year I will be making my official announcement of my retirement from football. It was a hard decision but the right decision for me and my family. And I am honored and so proud to be retiring as a Patriot.”
Edelman’s future in the NFL was uncertain due to a knee injury. In October, he had a procedure done to relieve some issues, but he was never able to return to the field on gameday. The Patriots terminated Edelman’s contract after failing a physical on Monday, a “precursor to the announcement”, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.
Edelman’s career was an unconventional story of beating the odds coming out of Kent State to being a Super Bowl MVP. Among his many contributions, which included not only being one of the NFL’s top slot receivers, but also a factor on special teams as a returner.
“It’s been a hell of a run,” Edelman added. “I can’t forget you, Patriot Nation.”
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