FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After 11 seasons, three championships, and countless memorable moments, New England Patriots star wide receiver Julian Edelman has officially played his last down.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network said in a Tweet Monday afternoon that according to wire reports, the Patriots terminated Edelman's contact, listing the reason as a "failed physical."
Mike Reiss, an ESPN reporter covering the Patriots, also said in a Tweet Monday that Edelman showed up on Monday's transaction wire "as having his contract terminated by the Patriots."
"Edelman has been mulling retirement and this could just be a precursor to that announcement," Reiss continued.
Edelman later released a video message officially announcing his retirement.
“Nothing in my career has ever come easy and this isn’t going to be easy either. I always said I would go into the wheels come off. They finally have fallen off," Edelman said in the video, backdropped under the lights of Gillette Stadium.
Edelman, 34, has been dealing with a knee injury, and according to Rapoport in February, wanted to continue playing but was unsure how healthy his knee would be at the start of the 2021 season.
Edelman had knee surgery in October for an undisclosed injury and missed 10 games last season.
"Due to an injury last year I’ll be making my official announcement of retirement from football. It was a hard decision, but the right decision for me and my family. I’m honored and so proud to be retiring a Patriot," Edelman continued to say in the video.
Around 7 p.m., the Patriots made a statement.
"By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career – wins, championships, production – Julian has it all," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wrote in a statement. "Few players can match Julian’s achievement, period, but considering his professional trajectory and longevity, the group is even more select."
Then, Patriot legend and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tom Brady posted.
Edelman, who was drafted in 2009 in the seventh round, has won three Super Bowls with the Patriots and was named MVP of Super Bowl LIII.
"It's been the best 12 years of my life. It's [been] a hell of a run," he said, "and I can't forget you, Patriot Nation. You guys have welcomed me and my family to a region we didn't know. But now, I'm one of you. I'm going to leave you guys with two words: Foxborough forever."