Edelman released a heartfelt video on Monday detailing his decision to retire from the NFL, about an hour after news broke that he had been cut from the team.
The three-time Super Bowl champion entered the NFL in 2009 as a seventh-round draft pick, and was known across the NFL for his gritty, determined play style.
He took part in some of the Patriots' most memorable moments during his 11-season career with the team, including post-season heroics like an odds-defying catch during Super Bowl 51, and a major role in Super Bowl 49.
Speaking from a chair on the field at Gillette Stadium, the wide receiver said a knee injury last season was the reason he was retiring.
Edelman thanked Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Head Coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots organization, his family, and the fans.
"You guys have welcomed me and my family to a region we did not know. But now, I'm one of you," he said.
Kraft and Belichick both released statements praising Edelman for his competitiveness.
Head Coach Bill Belichick called Edelman's career "historic," and said "He could, and did, do everything... Julian Edelman was the ultimate competitor and it was a privilege to coach him."
Patriots owner Robert Kraft echoed Belichick's sentiments, calling Edelman "One of the great success stories in our franchise's history."
Edelman retires with 6822 total yards, 36 touchdowns, 620 receptions and 137 games played.
"I'll leave you guys with two words: Foxboro Forever," he said.
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