Three-Time Super Bowl Champion Julian Edelman Announces Retirement
New England Patriots Press Release
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman announced his retirement today.
Edelman, 34, is a veteran of 12 seasons with the Patriots after originally joining the team as a seventh-round draft pick (232nd overall) in the 2009 NFL Draft out of Kent State. The 5-foot-10-inch, 198-pounder played in 137 regular season games with 85 starts and is second in team history with 620 receptions, fourth with 6,822 receiving yards and ninth with 36 receiving touchdowns. He also had 58 rushing attempts for 413 yards, the most rushing attempts and rushing yards by a wide receiver in Patriots history. His 9,869 all-purpose yards are fourth in team history.
“Julian Edelman is one of the great success stories in our franchise’s history,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “There aren’t many players who earn an NFL roster spot at a position they have never played before. Julian not only did that as a seventh-round draft selection, but he is retiring with the second-most career receptions in franchise history and as a three-time Super Bowl Champion, including his last as Super Bowl MVP. No one was more committed to his craft and honing his skills than Jules. His explosiveness off the line, quickness in his cuts and elusiveness after the catch made him one of the hardest players to defend throughout his career. His clutch catches in our biggest games and overall toughness made him a fan favorite. Over the past 12 years, I have enjoyed watching him grow as a player, as a person and as a father. In 2019, I had the privilege of traveling to Israel with Julian, which might be the only place where he is more popular than here in New England.”
Edelman sits second in NFL history with 118 postseason receptions, behind Jerry Rice’s 151 catches in the playoffs. He is one of 15 NFL players with at least 1,000 career postseason yards and his 1,442 postseason receiving yards are second all-time, behind the 2,245 playoff receiving yards by Rice. A member of three Super Bowl Champion teams, Edelman turned in key performances at crucial moments in all three Super Bowls wins. He was named Super Bowl LIII MVP after finishing with 10 receptions for 141 yards in the win vs. the Los Angeles Rams. Edelman finished with five receptions for 87 yards, including a miraculous 23-yard, diving, finger-tip catch late in the fourth quarter of the win vs. Atlanta in Super Bowl LI. He also caught the game-winning, 3-yard touchdown pass with 2:06 left to play in the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl XLIX win vs. Seattle.
“By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all,” said Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick. “Few players can match Julian’s achievements, period, but considering his professional trajectory and longevity, the group is even more select. It is historic. This is a tribute to his legendary competitiveness, mental and physical toughness and will to excel. Day in and day out, Julian was always the same: all out. Then, in the biggest games and moments, with championships at stake, he reached even greater heights and delivered some of his best, most thrilling performances. For all Julian did for our team, what I may appreciate the most is he was the quintessential throwback player. He could, and did, do everything – catch, run, throw, block, return, cover and tackle – all with an edge and attitude that would not allow him to fail under any circumstance. Julian Edelman is the ultimate competitor and it was a privilege to coach him.”
A college quarterback who converted to wide receiver after entering the NFL, Edelman made his mark as a punt returner early in his career. In 2010, he set a then franchise record for the highest punt return average in a single-season with a 15.3-yard average, which led the AFC and finished second in the NFL. He also had a 15.5-yard return average in 2012 but was limited to 17 punt returns in nine games due to injury. Edelman totaled 177 punt returns for 1,986 yards and an 11.2-yard average, which is the 16th-highest in league annals (minimum 100 punt returns). He holds the team record with four punt returns for a touchdown and set a franchise record with a 94-yard punt return for a touchdown vs. Miami on Jan. 2, 2011. Also during the 2011 season, he was called on to play defense and finished the season with 10 total tackles as a reserve in the secondary.
Edelman turned into a prolific wide receiver with two 100-reception seasons and three 1,000-yard seasons. His quarterback skills were also utilized by the Patriots. Edelman completed 7-of-8 passes for 179 yards with two touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 passer rating (including the playoffs).