Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft had some amazing words for Julian Edelman following his official retirement today. Edelman was one of the most important members in the history of the Patriots franchise, and they were sure to let him know about it.
“By any measure of what constitutes an elite NFL career — wins, championships, production — Julian has it all,” Belichick said. “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.”
Robert Kraft said:
“There aren’t many players who earn an NFL roster spot at a position they have never played before,” Kraft said. “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 had three Super Bowl wins and Super Bowl MVP with 620 receptions, 6,822 yards and 41 touchdowns during his career. He has the second-most receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,422) in the Super Bowl era behind Jerry Rice. All that and he was selected in the 7th round out of Kent State as a quarterback.
The ultimate competitor.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) April 12, 2021
Julian Edelman in the playoffs: Second-most catches (118) and yards (1442) in history. Played in 5 Super Bowls, won 3 + has a SB MVP. pic.twitter.com/VpRpgsy9pt
— Wicked Boston (@WickedBoston_) April 12, 2021