The Patriots sent shockwaves throughout the NFL on Monday – tremors, at least – with the announcement that they would cut veteran wide receiver Julian Edelman.
Multiple reports suggest New England cut Edelman, 34, because he failed his physique; he would have played his 12th league season in 2021 after missing the last 10 games of the 2020 season while recovering from knee surgery.
That said, New England’s decision to cut Edelman was more than just a physical failure. Either way, Monday’s decision could set the course for an 11-year career that has seen Edelman capture 620 passes for 6,822 yards and 36 touchdowns and win three Super Bowls.
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Here’s everything you need to know about Edelman’s decision and his future in the NFL.
Why did the Patriots cut Julian Edelman?
The initial reason for Edelman’s term in New England ended was physical failure. That makes sense on the surface, considering the 34-year-old wide receiver has played in the fewest games in any given season since joining the NFL in 2009. Considering the coach / general manager’s occupation of New England Bill Belichick in free agencyIt also stands to reason that Edelman would have seen fewer targets in 2021 after the Patriots added receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne, and tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
However, that was only part of the Patriots’ decision. According to ESPN’s Mike Weiss, the move could simply be a formality and a precursor to Edelman’s retirement from football.
As Julian Edelman presented himself on today’s deal thread as having seen his contract terminated by the Patriots, Edelman was considering retiring and that could just be a precursor to that announcement.
– Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) April 12, 2021
Edelman later confirmed rumors that he was indeed retiring. Edelman, in a pre-recorded video, announced his decision.
Why is Edelman retiring from the NFL?
In the video, Edelman attributed an undisclosed knee injury from the 2020 season as the reason for his retirement. He underwent surgery on October 29 and did not return for the remainder of New England’s 7-9 season.
“Nothing in my career has ever been easy. And, no surprise, it won’t be easy either,” Edelman said in his announcement. “I always said, ‘I’m going to go until the wheels come off.’ And they finally fell. Due to an injury last year, I will make the official announcement of my retirement from football. It was a difficult decision, but the right decision for me and my family. And I’m honored, and so proud, to retire a Patriot.
That latest line also ends any rumors that Edelman will attempt a comeback elsewhere in the NFL – most notably in Tampa Bay with former teammates Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski.