It’s the video we all saw coming but is still leaving us speechless. Now that I’ve finished the video and my tears have dried, it’s time to bid Julian Edelman a final farewell. In a 4 minute video posted on social media, Edelman announced his retirement from the NFL. His final words to Patriots Nation, simply put, “Foxboro Forever,” as he spent his entire 11 year career with the New England Patriots.
After spending most of his collegiate career with Kent State, Edelman came into the league as a 7th round pick, 232 overall, in 2009. While he didn’t get an invitation to the NFL Combine, the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick took a chance on the young quarterback turned wide receiver. In his first few seasons in New England, Edelman started just 24 times. He had 174 receptions for 1770 yards as well as 14 rushing attempts for an additional 84 yards.
Super Bowl Era
Edelman has been part of a Super Bowl winning team 3 times in his time with the Patriots. He’s also, unfortunately, been part of losing teams. He celebrated his first Super Bowl victory to cap off the 2014 season against the Seattle Seahawks. Edelman was, most notably, part of Super Bowl LI team against the Atlanta Falcons. As we saw during the Super Bowl LI Mic’d Up, he was adamant that he caught the catch and he was correct.
— Inside the NFL (@insidetheNFL) February 7, 2017
After sustaining a season-ending ACL injury during the preseason in 2017, Edelman was ready to show the world that he was back and ready for more football action. He did just that, winning Super Bowl MVP for his exemplary performance in Super Bowl LIII where he led the team with 141 yards on 10 receptions.
In Edelman’s last 3 seasons in New England, he started 26 of 34 games. Catching 195 of the 300 passes that went his direction. Totaling 2282 yards and 12 touchdowns. His final final season came to an end early due to a knee injury. This knee injury would essentially send Edelman into retirement. He played in just 6 games in 2020, being named a starter in only 1. He was able to rack up 315 yards on 21 receptions before sustaining a knee injury in October. Edelman finished an illustrious 12 years with the New England Patriots and hung up his cleats accumulating 6822 yards on 620 receptions with an impressive 36 touchdowns. He leaves the league with perfect regular-season passing attempts, going 6 for 6, 128 yards total and 1 passing touchdown to his resume.
only one person has more catches in the playoffs than Julian Edelman, and that guy is named Jerry Rice.
— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) April 12, 2021
Playoffs brought a different animal out of Edelman, borderline unstoppable. He made it to the postseason 9 times in his 11 seasons with more than 1400 postseason yards and 6 touchdowns. Edelman was often utilized as both a punt and kick returner, averaging 11.2 yards per punt return and an impressive 20.9 yards per kickoff return.
Off Field Work
Aside from being a great player, Julian Edelman was also an outstanding representative for the Jewish community as an athlete. He used his platform to call out Anti-Semitism and responded with level-headedness and offered to educate. Made a huge impact on and off the field. pic.twitter.com/Di4Uteuc1I
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) April 12, 2021
Outside of football, Edelman has reached out to prominent sports stars to educate them on the struggles of Jewish people and anti-semitism. Notably speaking to DeSean Jackson for posting anti-Semitic language on his Instagram story. Edelman showed grace in his approach to spread awareness.
Off the gridiron, he is also a children’s author, writing a series of picture books aptly named Flying High. A play on himself being squirrel-like. I was lucky enough to take a photo with him at a meet and greet for Flying High 2.
One hell of a career, one hell of a story.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 12, 2021
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 13, 2021
I Enjoyed it all brotha! I'll be waiting for my invite to the ceremony✊🏾💪🏾 🐿 https://t.co/WUACVNUasX
— Dont'a Hightower (@zeus30hightower) April 12, 2021
Bill Belichick’s statement on “the ultimate competitor”, Julian Edelman. pic.twitter.com/8pdZybjEyj
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 12, 2021
I’ll miss Edelman on the field. He was always a voice of positivity on the sidelines and a beast on the gridiron. Edelman’s catch in Super Bowl LI solidified him as a fan favorite across any Patriot fan’s home. That catch was a turning point where people started to believe that the Patriots could complete the comeback. There’s going to be a big debate on if Edelman deserves to be in the NFL Hall of Fame. However, there is no room for debate for Edelman to be inducted into the Patriots Hall of Fame. I cried at his retirement video. I will surely cry some more when he’s inducted into the Hall at Patriot Place and puts on his red suit jacket for the first time in 2025.
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