Sports | April 12, 2021 5:41 pm

Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman to Retire After Having Contract Terminated By Patriots

Edelman, who turns 35 next month, spent his entire 12-year NFL career with New England

Julian Edelman runs in a TD
Julian Edelman runs in a touchdown against the Tennessee Titans. (Adam Glanzman/Getty)
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Approximately seven months after having the game of his life, Julian Edelman is expected to announce his retirement from the National Football League, according to ESPN’s Mike Reiss.

Edelman, who had a career-high 179 receiving yards on eight catches during a loss in Week 2 to the Seahawks last season, turns 35 next month and missed the final 10 games of last year due to a knee injury.

Ostensibly it was that lingering injury that led to the Patriots cutting ties with Edelman on Monday due to a failed physical. “The NFL transaction wire released Monday stated that Edelman had his contract terminated by the Patriots, but the roster move is expected to be a technicality as part of his retirement,” according to ESPN.

During his 12-year NFL career, all of which was spent with New England, Edelman played wide receiver, quarterback, defensive back and returned both kickoffs and punts on special teams. A three-time Super Bowl winner who was named MVP of Super Bowl LIII, Edelman has the second-most postseason receiving yards (1,442) in NFL history, trailing only legendary WR Jerry Rice.

A trusted target of Tom Brady who caught 599 passes for 6,507 yards and 36 touchdowns from 2009-2019, Edelman is second on New England’s all-time receptions list with 620 career catches, trailing only Wes Welker (672). Coming in behind only Stanley Morgan (10,352), Rob Gronkowski (7,861) and Welker (7,459), Edelman is fourth on the team’s career receiving yards list with 6,822 yards.

Though Edelman’s stellar postseason play may earn him some consideration for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he likely doesn’t have the career numbers to make it into Canton.

For what it’s worth, former quarterback Boomer Esiason has previously touted Edelman as having a legitimate claim to a yellow jacket.

“Doing your job in the biggest moment and doing it seamlessly and doing it with what seems like a lot of effort because of how good he is and what he’s become, to me it shows a Hall of Fame performance,” Esiason told the Mut & Callahan Show in 2019. “I’m sorry. I’ve played the game. I’ve been on the field. I know what it takes to be what he is in the big spot. In my eyes, he’s grown over the last four or five years and his postseason effort speaks to that. The Super Bowl wins. The performance in the biggest games. I don’t want to disparage anybody in the Hall of Fame. If you’re in, you belong in and you’ve got the yellow jacket. All I did was bring up a fact that this guy continues to play at a very high level in the biggest games. I hope someday he’s recognized for that in the halls of Canton and if I had a vote I would certainly vote for him.”

Look for Edelman to make his retirement official in the coming days … or shock the world (and infuriate New England) by announcing he is going to Tampa Bay to chase another ring with his old pals Brady and Gronk.

UPDATE: Edelman confirmed his retirement in a social media post on Monday evening.